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Highlights from the Venice Biennale 2012, Italy

Monday 03 Sep 2012

Highlights from La Biennale di Venezia

copyright Elena Collins and WAN 
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WAN showcases some of its favourite national pavilions in Venice this year 

The Giardini at Venice is full of inspiring National Pavilions at the Biennale this year from Zip lines across canals at the Australian Pavilion to a eye- catching Russian temple full of QR codes. Here are some of WAN's favourite National Pavilions at the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale which captured Director David Chipperfield's theme of Common Ground.

Canadian Pavilion

Canada's entry is Migrating Landscapes, curated by Winnipeg-based 5468796 Architecture + Jae-Sung Chon, who have joined together to become the Migrating Landscapes Organiser. The Biennale's theme of Common Ground resonates with Migrating Landscapes, which questions socio-political borders, the migration of people and ideas and at its core exposes attitudes we all hold of other consciously and unconsciously. At the same time Migrating Landscapes poses questions about contemporary architecture as it is practiced cross-culturally and negotiated across social and political borders.

Finnish Pavilion

Wood has always been a favoured building material in Finland. Nature and the forest have provided a livelihood and enduring source of inspiration for their art and architecture. Today, wood continues to fascinate Finnish architects, who are unleashing new creative potential through the use of modern technology and new treatment methods. To celebrate the reopening of the newly restored Alvar Aalto Pavilion, this exhibition highlights the work of young Finnish architects who have used wood inventively in their recent works

Australian Pavilion

As new economic, social and cultural challenges present themselves, the exhibition Formations: New Practices in Australian Architecture, at the Australian Pavilion will act as a catalyst for discussion and debate around the changing role of architects and the ways in which they influence the world around them. a highlight of the pavilion is a water taxi journey around the Giardini with architect Richard Goodwin, returning back to the Australian Pavilion via a zip line - extending the exhibition beyond the Australian Pavilion and creating new ways of experiencing the Biennale, whilst exploring the potential to create new public and private spaces in Venice.

The Dutch Pavilion

The exhibition Re-set reveals a whole array of possibilities that an existing structure has to offer, taking the given situation as the starting point. With a mobile, tacile intervention, Inside Outside/ Petra Blaisse give an impulse to a building that has stood vacant for 40 years -the Dutch Pavilion is in use for just three months of the year - an impulse thar still awaits thousands of other Dutch government buildings. The exhibiton is being crated by Ole Bouman, Director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute. NAI.

The UK Pavilon

Venice takeaway, curated by Vicky Richardson Directors of Architecture, Design and Fashion at the British Council and Vanessa Norwood, Head of Exhibitions at the Architectural Association aims not simple to showcase talent from the UK but to provoke debate about the path that British Architecture has taken during a time of flux. Relfecting the theme of Common Ground set by Director David Chipperfield, Venice Takeaway demonstrates the potential of sharing ideas across borders and finding new ways to repond to the challenges of the relationships, policies and structures that surround architecture.

To view more projects, take a look at the WAN Venice blog

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