“Designing and writing about a building are very different processes of thought”

The Venice Biennale manifesto of Grafton Architects is proof that vapid commentary can diminish great architecture, says Owen Hatherley. “Freespace focuses on architecture’s ability to provide free and additional spatial gifts to those who use it and on its ability to address the unspoken wishes of strangers,” reads the manifesto of Venice Architecture Biennale curators Yvonne Farrell

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Luxembourg Pavilion calls for architects to “give more space to the public” by building on stilts

Projects by Aldo Rossi, Paul Rudolph and Le Corbusier show how buildings on stilts can be used to covertly introduce public space onto private land, according to the curators of the Luxembourg Pavilion at this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale. The exhibition features 13 towering MDF models of buildings on stilts, which were all proposed but never

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Vatican’s Venice Biennale pavilion made using bespoke shingles by Alpi

Dezeen promotion: Alpi produced 9,000 custom shingles from environmentally and socially responsible wood for MAP Studio’s pavilion as part of the Vatican City’s Venice Biennale debut. The Holy See commissioned architects Francesco Magnani and Traudy Pelzel of MAP Studio to design the pavilion, which is the cornerstone of it’s entry to the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. Set

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360-degree video offers a look inside all 10 chapels built by the Vatican City in Venice

This 360-degree video created by Dezeen offers a look inside all 10 chapels commissioned by the Vatican City for its inaugural Venice Architecture Biennale exhibition, including designs by Terunobu Fujimoro, Smiljan Radić and Sean Godsell. The Holy See Pavilion saw 10 studios design and build new chapels on the Venetian island of San Giorgio Maggiore. Designers were asked by

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10 pavilions not to be missed at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018

There are 63 national pavilions at this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale. But if you don’t have time to visit them all, here’s our guide to the 10 best, selected by Dezeen editor Amy Frearson. The 16th Venice Architecture Biennale is curated by Grafton Architects founders Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara. Their title, Freespace, refers to the

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360-degree video reveals the EU-blue amphitheatre inside the Belgian Pavilion

This 360-degree video filmed by Dezeen offers a look inside the Belgian Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale, which is hosting an amphitheatre for discussion about European politics. Curated by Traumnovelle and Roxane Le Grelle, the simple installation called Eurotopie is designed to provoke discussion about the role of Belgian capital Brussels as the host of the European

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V&A director defends Robin Hood Gardens display at Venice Biennale against claims of “art-washing”

Tristram Hunt, director of the V&A museum in London, has defended the institution’s decision to exhibit a section of the Robin Hood Gardens housing estate at the Venice Architecture Biennale. Writing in The Art Newspaper, Hunt dismissed the “keyboard warriors and ‘art-wash’ agitators”, who have criticised the museum for acquiring and exhibiting fragments of the part-demolished brutalist

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Cruising Pavilion aims to show how sex “is always latent or silenced” in architecture

The practice of “cruising” is changing the way that buildings are designed, according to the curators of a Venice Architecture Biennale exhibition that brings together sex and architecture. Featuring a flatpack maze containing a glory hole, and artefacts from famously secretive Berlin nightclub Berghain, the Cruising Pavilion explores the subversive architecture of, and architectures subverted by, casual

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Vatican City’s patronage is “exactly what architecture needs” says Norman Foster 

The Vatican City is a champion for contemporary architecture, according to Norman Foster, one of several architects commissioned by the Catholic city state for the Venice Architecture Biennale. Speaking to Dezeen in Venice, the Foster + Partners principal said the Vatican City should be congratulated for its debut biennale contribution – instead of curating a traditional

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Architects must reclaim Venice Architecture Biennale from “arrogant” curators, says Patrik Schumacher

Patrik Schumacher has launched an attack on the curators of the national pavilions at this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale, which he claims are “devoid of architecture”. “Architects must fight back to reclaim the Venice Biennale from the arrogant and self-indulgent curators,” said Schumacher, the principal at Zaha Hadid Architects, in a post on Facebook. His criticism

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V&A unveils huge section of demolished Robin Hood Gardens at Venice Architecture Biennale

Visitors to the Venice Architecture Biennale can walk the “streets in the sky” of London’s Robin Hood Gardens, as the V&A museum has shipped a huge chunk of the brutalist housing estate to Italy. As the showpiece of the exhibition Robin Hood Gardens: A Ruin in Reverse, the fragment is the facade of one flat from the famous

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Dutch Pavilion invites you to explore a Narnia-like locker room

Orange lockers open to reveal secret rooms, windows, videos and images inside The Netherlands’ Venice Biennale Pavilion, in an exhibition that explores the future of physical labour. Called Work, Body, Leisure, the exhibition in the Dutch Pavilion appears to comprise a single room lined on all sides by lockers. But as visitors pull open the

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Huge balloons inflate and deflate based on atmospheric conditions inside Nordic Pavilion

The Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale has been filled with huge inflatable blobs that slowly expand and contract in response to changing environmental conditions. The exhibition, called Another Generosity, aims to explore the relationship between nature and the built environment. Curators Eero Lundén and Juulia Kauste wanted to show how humans can start to create

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Female architects host flash mob at Venice Architecture Biennale to call for gender equality

Architects Odile Decq, Farshid Moussavi and Manuelle Gautrand were part of a protest that took place in Venice today, to fight against discrimination in architecture. The flash mob took place in the Giardini, one of the two main venues for the Venice Architecture Biennale. More than 100 people attended, with other participants including architects Jeanne Gang,

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Caruso St John builds rooftop “island” above British Pavilion to make statement about Brexit

Architecture firm Caruso St John and artist Marcus Taylor have installed a huge platform atop the UK’s Venice Architecture Biennale pavilion, to create a ” place of both refuge and exile”. The curators chose to build scaffolding all around an empty British Pavilion, to support the wooden “island” perched on top. The claim the project, called Island,

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Swiss Pavilion invites visitors to explore bland rental homes like Alice In Wonderland

Unremarkable light switches, doors and counters are either shrunk or enlarged inside Switzerland’s Venice Biennale pavilion, to draw attention to the ubiquitous interior design of rental properties. Called House Tour, the exhibition sees the Swiss Pavilion transformed into a warren of unfurnished rooms, using the bland fittings commonly selected for new-build housing or rented apartments. But

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Five key topics for the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018

The Venice Architecture Biennale kicks off this week. Ahead of the opening, Dezeen architecture editor Jessica Mairs looks at some of the topics likely to dominate conversation, from the future of social housing to cruising culture. Irish architects Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, founders of Dublin-based Grafton Architects, are the curators of the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale, which

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V&A to recreate Robin Hood Gardens’ streets in the sky at Venice Architecture Biennale

A one-bedroom flat salvaged from the demolition of the Robin Hood Gardens estate by London’s V&A museum is to be transported to Italy and displayed at this year’s Venice Architecture Bienniale. The V&A acquired the three-storey section of the estate last year when demolition work on the brutalist social housing estate began, but did not immediately reveal its plans for the

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