10th International Architecture Exhibition

On July 5, 2006, the President of the Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia Davide Croff and the Director of the 10th International Architecture Exhibition Richard Burdett presented, at the former Electrical Plant in Milano Santa Giulia, the latest new events in the exhibition program, in the presence of the main partners of this edition of the Biennale: the President and Chief Executive Officer of Risanamento SpA Luigi Zunino and the President of Inarcassa Paola Muratorio.

The main partners of the Biennale di Venezia represent an innovative component and share in specific projects of the 10th International Architecture Exhibition, each in his own area of commitment: an exhibition, organized as a partner initiative by Risanamento SpA, dedicated to the mostadvanced city planning projects conceived for Milano Santa Giulia by Norman Foster and for the former Falck industrial area by Renzo Piano; a conference, organized by Inarcassa, focusing on the role of architects and engineers in the governance of the interaction between architecture and society in the third millenium.

The two partners of the 10th Exhibition are illycaffè and Targetti, who are also responsible for specific projects. illycaffè, in its first partnership with the Architecture Biennale, pursues the work it began in the International Art Exhibitions. Within the exhibition itinerary of the Corderie dell’Arsenale, it will create illymind, a relaxation area connected in an original way to the general theme of the exhibition Cities. The area was designed specifically for the Biennale and is part of a series of services conceived by illycaffè to highlight one’s personal experience at the exhibition. The program also includes a new event conceived by illycaffè on the architecture and literature of the city, in which the Biennale will dialogue directly with the Festival Letteratura in Mantua, an event that will be held simultaneously, and in which illy has always participated: this is the 10th edition for both of them.

The new events of the 10th Exhibition include a lighting itinerary full of surprises: in addition to the lighting of the Padiglione Italia, the Corderie, the Artiglierie, the Tese and the exhibitions of the Palermo section, Targetti – a leader in the field of indoor and outdoor lighting based in Florence – has created the Info Light Box. Designed by Pino Brugellis, is it constituted by a cubic structure 4x4x4 meters, whose parts are lit by over 80.000 LEDs, and which will guide visitors to the discovery of the most significant places and events in the Exhibition. The sophisticated technology used for the lighting panels (patented and distributed by Targetti under the name SmartsLab) will allow excellent daytime visibility of images, videos and multi-chromatic dynamic performances.

For the first time the complexity and the interdisciplinary nature of the themes inherent to the city have made possible the presentation of three cultural partner initiatives in the spaces of the Arsenale. In addition to the projects for Milano Santa Giulia and the former Falck industrial area in Sesto San Giovanni on exhibit in the former Fonderie, the Artiglierie will present the exhibition Metrò-Polis, curated by Benedetto Gravagnuolo and Alessandro Mendini, organized by the Regione Campania and the City of Naples with the Ente Autonomo Volturno and the M.N.Metropolitana in Naples, and the project for the new Chinese city Tong Li, curated by Mi Qiu from the Italian team led by Francesco Morena, in the Sala Marceglia.

The central international exhibition Cities. Architecture and Society, will be presented in the 300 meters of the Corderie dell’Arsenale – using projections of new videos on wide screens, photography, film and three-dimensional graphic presentations, designed by Aldo Cibic and Luigi Marchetti – Cibic&Partners with the art direction and graphic design by Fragile- featuring the urban experiences of sixteen large cities in four different continents of the planet: Shanghai, Mumbai and Tokyo in Asia; Caracas, Mexico City, Bogotà, Saõ Paolo, Los Angeles and New York in the Americas; Johannesburg, Cairo and Istanbul in Africa and the Mediterranean area; European cities such as London, Barcelona, Berlin and Milan-Turin. The exhibition will not only present information and data on how these cities have changed from a social, economic and cultural standpoint, but will also display new architectural and urban projects that are determining lifestyles, work and circulation in the very dense metropolitan environment of these global cities.

In the Padiglione Italia at the Giardini the complex vision of urban planning will be analyzed through the projects of 13 international research institutes: Berlage Institute, C-Photo Magazine, ETH Studio Basel – Contemporary City Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) SENSEable City Laboratory, Schrumpfende Städte – Shrinking Cities, The Architecture Foundation and MoMA, The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA/AMO), Domus magazine, The Royal College of Art in London, The University of Texas at Austin, Universidad Iberoamericana, Università Iuav di Venezia, Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI). 

By bringing the everyday life of the metropolitan cities around the world to Venice, by inviting international research institutes to share their work, developing specific themes in 2 workshops coordinated by Guido Martinotti, a conference organized by Leonardo Fiori, 11 collateral events, broadening the international horizon with the exhibitions from 50 countries – including Italy hosted for the first time in the new Italian Pavilion in the first Tesa delle Vergini in the Arsenale – the 10th International Exhibition will conclude with a manifesto for the twenty-first century city, dedicated to the potential contribution of the megalopolis to a more sustainable, democratic and fair world.

The 10th International Architecture Exhibition of the Biennale di Venezia marks an evolutionary milestone in the centennial history of the most famous cultural institution in the world, thanks to the presence of two project sections Cities of Stone in Veniceand City-Port inPalermo, which complement the international exhibition ‘Cities. Architecture and Society’, the thematic focus of this edition, expanding the major themes and terrain of investigation through individual and specific thematic explorations focused on Southern Italy, conceived with an intense new succession of international connections and further developments around the world. The presentation of the two exhibition events in Venice and Palermo – another premiere event in the history of the Biennale – and the chronological succession of inaugurations and public openings – September 10 for Cities of Stone and October 15 for City-Ports – makes the two sections independent and of equal importance to the International Exhibition, fully reflecting the founding guidelines and the objectives of Sensi Contemporanei, a project sponsored since 2003 by the Ministry for the Cultural Heritage and Activities – DARC, by the Ministry of the Economy and Finance – DPS and by the Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia, for the development of contemporary art and architecture in Italy’s Mezzogiorno.

The Cities of Stone section, curated by Claudio D’Amato Guerrieri, will be exhibited in Venice from September 10 through November 19, at the Artiglierie dell’Arsenale, and will include three exhibition sections: The Other Modernity, Stereotomic Architecture, Project South. The latter will present the projects selected from an exchange of ideas organized for the occasion. An international conference dedicated to the issues covered by this section will take place in Venice during the month of November.

City-Port, curated by Rinio Bruttomesso, will be on exhibit in Palermo from October 15 through January 14, 2007, in three venues and will include four exhibitions: City-Port. Maps for New Urban Routes at Palazzo Forcella de Seta, City-Port. The Great South and City-Port. Palermo, Mediterranean at S.Erasmo, the Portus Architecture Prize, which will present the projects selected from a competition dedicated to young Italian architects, at the Galleria di Architettura Expa. An international conference, dedicated to these specific issues, will take place in Palermo during the month of December.

The twin objective of this second edition of the Sensi Contemporanei project is to promote, giving it maximum exposure, the understanding of the reality of southern Italy, to stimulate debate and renovation within the planning objectives defined by the exhibition events and to create an international circuit of professionals and attending public in southern Italy who can instill new ideas and new energy into the social and architectural scene. Working in this direction, Sensi Contemporanei embraces the challenge of a strongly innovative project and allows it to develop in such a way that it involves the entire national territory, canceling geographic distances to highlight local contexts.

The new features of the 10th International Architecture Exhibition include the awards ceremony that will be held on November 8 at the conclusion of the Exhibition instead of during the vernissage, and will also include the projects of the two collateral sections, each of which will award specific new prizes: the Stone Lion for the Venetian section and the Portus Architecture Prize for the section in Palermo.

The two-volume catalog of Cities. Architecture and society (a monograph dedicated to the main international exhibition and one volume documenting the Countries, the collateral events, conferences and special projects) will be published by Marsilio, as will the two books (a thematic monograph and a book documenting the respective exchange of ideas) dedicated to each of the two collateral sections Cities of Stone and City-Port. 

For further information:

Art and Architecture Press Office
Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia
tel. +39 041 5218 716 – 5218 846
fax +39 041 2411 407