Freespace, Venice Biennale 2018 - Photo by Andrea Avezzù. Courtesy la Biennale di Venezia.

Freespace, Venice Biennale 2018 – Photo by Andrea Avezzù. Courtesy la Biennale di Venezia.

Venice Architecture Biennale 2018FREESPACE: architecture as a generous act embracing people both spatially and socially. This is the theme chosen by curators of the 16th International Architecture Exhibition Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, founders of Grafton Architects. The most influential architecture event will inaugurate next year on May 26 and run until November 25 in the Giardini and the Arsenale, as well ad other venues in Venice.


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Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara - Courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia.

Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara – Courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia.

FREESPACE describes a generosity of spirit and a sense of humanity at the core of architecture’s agenda, focusing on the quality of space itself.” Said Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara. “FREESPACE focuses on architecture’s ability to provide free and additional spatial gifts even in the most challenging conditions”.

On show examples, proposals and elements both built or unbuilt that explore architecture’s complex spatial nature. “FREESPACE will encourage reviewing ways of thinking, new ways of seeing the world, of inventing solutions where architecture provides for the well being and dignity of  each citizen of this fragile planet. We believe that everyone has the right to benefit from architecture. Its role is to give shelter to our bodies and to lift our spirits”.

Farrell and McNamara quoted some examples of virtuous and inspiring free spaces including Jørn Utzon’s welcoming concrete and tiled seats at the entrance of Can Lis in Majorca and Angelo Mangiarotti’s entryway of 24 Via Quadronno in Milan, but also Lina Bo Bardi’s museum of modern art in Sao Paolo, a public belvedere overlook the city.

Curators invited all participants and every national pavilion to bring to Venice their Freespace, so “together we may reveal the diversity, specificity and continuity in architecture based on people, place, time, history, to sustain the culture and relevance of architecture on this dynamic planet”.

Venice Biennale, corderie Arsenale - photo by Giulio Squillacciotti.

Venice Biennale, corderie Arsenale – photo by Giulio Squillacciotti.

President Paolo Baratta stated “Venice Architecture Biennale continues our investigation into the relationship between architecture and civil society. The divide between architecture and civil society has led to dramatic urban developments whose main feature is the marked absence of public spaces, or the growth of other areas dominated by indifference in the suburbs and peripheries of our cities.”

The absence of architecture makes the world poorer and diminishes the level of public welfare, otherwise reached by economic and demographic developments. To rediscover architecture means to renew a strong desire for the quality of the spaces where we live, which are a form of public wealth that needs to be constantly protected, renovated and created.”

Freespace, Venice Biennale 2018 - Photo by Photo Giorgio Zucchiatti; courtesy la Biennale di Venezia

Giardini, Photo by Giorgio Zucchiatti – Courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia.