Free Space: The Venice Biennale of Architecture

By Anthony Zampolin

Entrance to Arsenal

Curated by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, the focus of the 2018 Venice Architectural Biennale is "Free Space". The exhibition addresses "the question of space, the quality of space, and open/free space" lending the theme and title "Free Space" to this year’s displays.

Collection of +100 Vertical Studies from Chinese Architecture Firms

The overwhelming nature of the biennale cannot be written about justly, outside of the actual experience of attending the event. It takes about two full days to experience the entire symposium. One day can be dedicated to the exhibits and pavilions at Venice’s repurposed Arsenal, and a second can be spent entirely in the pavilions of the Venice Gardens. 

Study Model in Arsenal

Toyo Ito Installation in the Arsenal

It’s not the responsibility of a single person to critique the body of work that is presented in any Biennale. A Biennale is meant to be the zeitgeist of a specific focus, during a past time period; with glimmers into the future. The intent of the 2018 Architectural Biennale was to showcase the versatility of architecture branching beyond the boundaries of a program or a site’s limitations. What can free space provide to the architecture? How can architecture embrace and celebrate free space?  How does free space provide opportunities?

Large Scale model in the Gardens Central Pavilion

Peter Rich landscape architecture - hand drawings

This year’s Biennale is a beautiful conglomeration of what the world’s brightest architects have to offer. Work created from 2016 to mid-2018 was on display. The images below are a single snapshot into the amazing breathe of work that is exhibited.

Danish Pavilion in Gardens

Andra Matin – "Elevation" exhibiting Indonesian architecture

Biothing Cloud Pergola, Croatian Pavilion

Vo Trong Nghia Architects, the Bamboo Stalactite Pavilion

3D printing study in Main Pavilion of Gardens

Australia Pavilion Projected Presentation

Carlo Scarpa Designed Venezuela Pavilion