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News & Stories | 12th Architecture Biennale – exclusively presented by Villeroy & Boch Tiles

Radical change and radical standstill

by Carsten Krohn

Radical change and radical standstill
Under the heading of "Chronochaos" Rem Koolhaas presents his proposals for the preservation of monuments and historical buildings. In one of the rooms at the back of Palazzo delle Esposizioni, visitors come face to face with photos, furniture and documents, some of which are stored as if in an archive. The architect has dedicated himself to a topic that comes as a surprise not only for the Biennial, but also for himself and his OMA studio.
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News & Stories | 12th Architecture Biennale – exclusively presented by Villeroy & Boch Tiles

Niemeyer’s shadow

by Carsten Krohn

Niemeyer’s shadow
Oscar Niemeyer still works as an architect - at the grand old age of 102. As the exhibition in the Brazilian pavilion proves conclusively. The title "Brasilia - 50 Years On" whets the viewer's appetite; after all, the rigorously modern city was the promise of the day. Alongside Niemeyer, who designed the ideal city's most important buildings, the works of a new generation of young architects are also on display. Nonetheless, the Biennial's perhaps most interesting contribution to Brazilian architecture is actually to be found elsewhere.
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News & Stories | 12th Architecture Biennale – exclusively presented by Villeroy & Boch Tiles

The past is the new future

by Axel Simon

The past is the new future
When the world changes, architecture changes, too. That sounds easier than it is. So what do the visions of the many different "futures" gathered at the Architecture Biennial look like? And what role does the past play in them?
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News & Stories | 12th Architecture Biennale – exclusively presented by Villeroy & Boch Tiles

Tokyo in doll’s house chaos

by Axel Simon

Tokyo in doll’s house chaos
Japan's pavilion finds and unusual and surprising way to celebrate the "Metabolist" movement, which kicked off about half a century ago. Instead of space capsules and concrete shelving full of living units you can peruse doll's-house-sized models and an insightful presentation of Tokyo as the city of permanent change.
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News & Stories | 12th Architecture Biennale – exclusively presented by Villeroy & Boch Tiles

Disillusion, Illusion, Solution

by Dirk Meyhöfer

Disillusion, Illusion, Solution
In Russian Pavilion a serious attempt is being made at the dialectical triple jump from the past into the future. It presented three emotional states en route to ideas to reanimate the Russian industrial city of Vyshny Volochok.
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News & Stories | 12th Architecture Biennale – exclusively presented by Villeroy & Boch Tiles

Well done!

by Annette Tietenberg

Well done!
The British Pavilion has opened its doors to a School of Seeing. Given the wealth of models, photographs, maps, drawings, notes, film and exhibits from various ages that comment on one another here, indeed seem to generate one another, all the media manifestations, differences in genres and lines dividing the epochs seem to have little validity. At "Villa Frankenstein", where architecture, art and historiography bid you good night, order gets upended.
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News & Stories | 12th Architecture Biennale – exclusively presented by Villeroy & Boch Tiles

High Noon in the Red Salon

by Dirk Meyhöfer

High Noon in the Red Salon
The word "Sehnsucht" (desire) is written above the gold-colored drapes decorat-ing the entrance to the German Pavilion at the Venice Giardini. Inside, a burgundy red salon awaits the visitor, featuring more than 180 representatives of the trade - who each inform us about the depths and shallows of their souls on a single sheet of paper.

News & Stories | 12th Architecture Biennale – exclusively presented by Villeroy & Boch Tiles

Chronochaos or The Tigers from Venice

by Thomas Wagner

Chronochaos or The Tigers from Venice
Concluding our series on the Architecture Biennial we ask: What vision of architecture do the exhibitions and contributions communicate? What attitudes do the architects take towards the past, present and future, and what role do power, experience and atmosphere play?
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News & Stories | 12th Architecture Biennale – exclusively presented by Villeroy & Boch Tiles

Designing a different society

by Claus Käpplinger

Designing a different society
In Israel, back in the days while it was still young, the kibbutzim played a crucial role as places where a different, collective way of life beyond capitalist production practices was tested. An excellent exhibition at the Israeli Pavilion reminds us of the peculiarities of kibbutz architecture and aims to build a bridge to the future.

News & Stories | 12th Architecture Biennale – exclusively presented by Villeroy & Boch Tiles

The bridge across the valley

by Claus Käpplinger

The bridge across the valley
Here, construction comes into its own. Connections are not talked about but simply shown - modestly but accurately in black and white. "Landschaft und Kunstbauten" (Landscape and Engineering Structures) is the title of the exhibition realized at the Swiss Pavilion by the renowned engineer Jürg Conzett from Chur. It mostly features bridges in Switzerland.

News & Stories | 12th Architecture Biennale – exclusively presented by Villeroy & Boch Tiles

Not a fairytale from the Arabian Nights

by Annette Tietenberg

Not a fairytale from the Arabian Nights
The Kingdom of Bahrain has taken the Biennial's motto very seriously: People meet, take a seat, watch, listen, dream. What better place to sit and think about the loss of identity, the increase in urban space and the magic of the sea than in fisherman's huts from the beach in Bahrain that were taken down with their owners' permission. And there is already one tangible result: the Golden Lion for the best country contribution.
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News & Stories | 12th Architecture Biennale – exclusively presented by Villeroy & Boch Tiles

When sugar cubes float above the coffee cups

by Claus Käpplinger

When sugar cubes float above the coffee cups
Like its sister event, the Architecture Biennial has long since expanded beyond its traditional grounds in the Giardini. There are a great number of intriguing country pavilions not only in the halls of the Venice's Arsenale, but also scattered around the city. So we resolved to take a walk past the contributions by Portugal, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Cyprus, Iran, Singapore, Hong Kong and several other exhibitions.

News & Stories | 12th Architecture Biennale – exclusively presented by Villeroy & Boch Tiles

Producing atmospheres or Close Links to Art

by Carsten Krohn

Producing atmospheres or Close Links to Art
Never before was an architecture biennial so similar to an art biennial. Indeed, the latest rivalry among star architects to devise ever more eccentric shapes spawned objects that were commissioned if only for their "sculptural" qualities. At the first architecture biennial since the Big Crash the focus is closer to art again - against the background of the skepticism towards the once booming "signature architecture".

News & Stories | 12th Architecture Biennale – exclusively presented by Villeroy & Boch Tiles

On How to Handle Free Spaces or Vacancies

by Sandra Hofmeister

On How to Handle Free Spaces or Vacancies
The solution need not always be a new building. And in the French Pavilion Dominique Perrault therefore asks how empty spaces in a city are handled and how we can rejuvenate our metropolitan peripheries. The Dutch Pavilion also focuses on how the existing can best be used. Here, Rietveld Landscape addresses the use of government-owned vacant buildings.
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News & Stories | 12th Architecture Biennale – exclusively presented by Villeroy & Boch Tiles

On amazement and a cat in the arsenals

by Oliver Elser

On amazement and a cat in the arsenals
Kazuyo Sejima, the Director of the 12th Venice Architecture Biennial, has pulled something special out of the bag with the central exhibition "People meet in Architecture". She has managed to create an atmosphere of light-heartedness in which the opportunities afforded by contemporary architecture as well as the latter's limits are on show without glossing over the weighty issues.
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