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This year, 2020, we will enjoy the 17th edition of the Venice Architecture Biennale, an event that brings together architects from all over the world to present their projects around a common theme. The initial dates (May 23rd to November 29th) will be postponed due to the coronavirus crisis, shortening the exhibition from six months to just three. The event will bring together 114 participants representing 46 countries. Do you want to know everything about this new edition of the Venice Biennale? Read on and discover all the details.

What is the Venice Architecture Biennale?

The Venice Biennale (from Italian La Biennale di Venezia) was born in 1895 as an international art exhibition. Since 1975, It has also organized architectural exhibitions, with the Venice Architecture Biennale as one of its sections from 1980. Its mission is to exhibit current architectural projects and offer a tool for urban innovation, both nationally and internationally. In this case, the installations and performances are the showcase for different types of professionals, both established architects and young people, making the Architecture Biennale a fresh and innovative space.

The 17th International Architecture Exhibition, curated by Hashim Sarkis and organised by the Venice Biennale, was to be opened to the public from May 23rd to November 29th 2020. However, due to problems of mobility and the prevention measures taken by governments because of the coronavirus, its opening has been postponed until 29th August, when the awards will be announced. Due to these inconveniences, the international exhibition will only be opened to the public for three months, ending on November 29th 2020.

¿How shall we live together? Theme of the Biennale di Venezia 2020

The Venice Biennale hosts one of the world's most influential exhibitions of Architecture and Urbanism, where new worldwide architecture proposals are shown. Entitled "How shall we live together", the seventeenth architecture exhibition of the Biennale is curated by Hashim Sarkis, and will be held at the Central Pavilion in the Giardini, the Arsenale and the Forte Marghera.

The exhibition subject focuses on the search for spaces in which to live together in a generous way. Architects have been encouraged to look for some help from other professionals and working groups, from artists or builders to journalists and simple citizens. The goal is to confirm the essential role of the architect as the convener and custodian of the spatial contract, as Sarkis affirms.

The main theme will be divided into five scales. The first three will take place at the Arsenale and the last two at the Central Pavilion. They are listed down below:

  • Among Diverse Beings
  • As New Households
  • As Emerging Communities
  • Across Borders
  • As One Planet

The projects will range from analytical to conceptual ones, from experimental to proven ones. For its part, the Forte Marghera space will host projects aimed at children's play under the sub-theme "How will we play together?

In addition to the invited participants, the 2020 Architecture Biennale will also include research stations that will support the rest of the exhibition, developed by university researchers from all over the world.

Hashim Sarkis, curator of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition

The seventeenth edition of the Architecture Biennial will be curated by Hashim Sarkis. But who is Hashim Sarkis? He is a Lebanese architect and Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 2015. He is also the main architect and manager of the Hashim Sarkis Studios (HSS), which were created in 1998. The company has offices in Boston.

Being the curator of the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2020 is not his first experience at the International Architecture Exhibition. He showcased his work with his studio HSS at the US Pavilion in 2014 and at the Albanian exhibition in 2010. In addition, the Lebanese architect was part of the jury for the 14th Exhibition of the 2016 Biennale. This year, Sarkis will follow in the footsteps of Yvonne Farrel and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects, who occupied this position in the previous edition and who have just won the Pritzker Prize for Architecture in 2020.

Venice Architecture Biennale 2020 Participants

The 2020 Architecture International Exhibition will have 144 guests who must respond to the theme of the edition in their projects. Participants will come from all over the world. This year, it was announced that there will be a fair representation of men and women from 46 different countries, as well as an increase in the number of guests from Africa, Latin America and Asia.

You can find out who all the Venice Architecture Biennale 2020 participants are on its official website:

The Spanish architects and architecture offices will participate in two of the five scales this year: As New Households and As Emerging Communities. These are the architects:

As New Households

  • Miralles Tagliabue EMBT (Barcelona, Spain) Benedetta Tagliabue; Elena Nedelcu; Joan Callís
  • ROJO / FERNÁNDEZ-SHAW, arquitectos (Madrid, Spain) Begoña Fernadez-Shaw; Luis Rojo

As Emerging Communities

  • Lacol (Barcelona, Spain) Ariadna Artigas; Mirko Gegundez; Lali Daví; Pol Massoni; Anna Clemente; Cristina Gamboa; Núria Vila; Jordi Miró; Ernest Garriga; Eliseu Arrufat; Laura Lluch; Lluc Hernandez; Arnau Andrés; Carles Baiges. Su innovador proyecto para La Borda fue fue presentado en el MCH 2017 como parte del taller liderado por Josep Maria Montaner y Zaida Muxí, con Cristina Gamboa como Guest Lecturer. Their innovative project for La Borda was presented at MCH 2017 as part of the Workshop Led by José María Montaner and Zaida Muxi, with Cristina Gamboa participating as guest lecturer.
  • PRÁCTICA (Madrid, Spain) Jaime Daroca Guerrero; José Mayoral Moratilla; José Ramón Sierra Gómez de León

We will have to wait until August 29th 2020 to discover the winners of the 2020 Venice Biennale and to enjoy the 17th edition of the International Architecture Exhibition.

Master in Collective Housing UPM/ETH

The Master of Architecture in Collective Housing, MCH, is a postgraduate full-time international professional program of advanced architecture design in cities and housing presented by Universidad Politécnica of Madrid (UPM) and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH). Apply now!
Next edition of the MAS in Collective Housing will start in January 2021, the application period is already opened, and it will remain so till 31.12.2020 or until vacancies are filled.
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