Venice Architecture Biennale 2018: Arsenale selection

This is Blueprint’s (alphabetical) selection of some of the highlights from the Arsenale at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. For an in-depth look at the the Smithsons’ Robin Hood Gardens social housing development installation by the V&A in the Arsenale, see the separate post. On this site you can also find our choice of work on show in the Giardini, including a longer look at the Caruso St John-designed British Pavilion.


Bamboo Stalactite VTN Architects (Vietnam) The Vietnamese architect is an evangelist for the use of wood in building and here uses strong, lightweight, bamboo (charred to appeal to our sense of smell as well as for the visual effect) for a light-porous structure appearing like a vaulted Rebar frame ready for the concrete to be poured.


Conditions Icefjord installation Dorte Mandrup (Denmark) The Icefjord echoes the first meeting of Inuit people and Europeans in Greenland around 1200AD, the first time ‘the two original branches of humanity, that once parted way in Africa, met for the very first time in 200,000 years.’


Connecting Vessel Vector Architects (China) Monochrome models of some of the beautiful and powerful work of China’s Vector Architects including this Blueprint Awards Highly Commended project, the renovation of The Captain’s House (2015)


Croation Pavilion Cloud Pergola The Architecture of Hospitality Curator: Bruno Juricic Installations: architect Alisa Andrasek with Bruno Juricic, Vlatka Horvat and Maja Kuzmanovic The installation synthesises site-specific environmental data into ‘form, figure, posture, tectonics, porosity and light’, along with wall graphics and a soundtrack.


Kosovo Pavilion the CITYisEVERYWHERE Curator and designer: architect Eliza Hoxha (Kosovo) The infinity mirror installation blurs the lines between the exterior city and the interior of the home, commenting on when in the 1990s Kosovan Albanians were expelled from public institutional life, because of the political conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, instead creating ‘a parallel system of public institutions in their private houses’.


Oxymoron Sauerbruch Hutton (Germany) The rigid, squared-off geometry of the lower part of the enclosed space gives way to a riot of colour and pattern, distilling the architectural themes of Sauerbruch Hutton’s brand new M9 Museum District in the Mestre part of Venice across from the main island.


ReCasting Alison Brooks Architects (UK) Alison Brooks Architects ‘simulates the critical freespaces of [the practice’s] work in housing as four inhabitable totems: Threshold, Inhabited Edge, Passage, and Roofspace’.


Z33 – Under Construction Installation by architect Francesca Torzo (Belgium) A small, but enticing string model of the House for Contemporary Art, a new building and part remodelling of a former convent, now an art gallery, which will accommodate exhibitions, research, productions and collaborative projects relating to contemporary art, design and architecture when it opens in 2019 in Hasselt in Belgium.

The 16th International Architecture Exhibition: La Biennale Di Venezia
runs until 25 November 2018
All photography: Johnny Tucker