Culture

Portugal Represented in Venice's Biennale

Portugal is Being Represented in Venice's Biennale 2016 With the Project: “Neighbourhood: Where Álvaro Meets Aldo”

June 10th, 2016
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From the 28th of May to 27th November 2016, Portugal is being represented in the 15th International Architecture Exhibition, in Venice's Biennale, with the project “Neighbourhood: where Álvaro meets Aldo,” from Álvaro Siza Vieira.

The Venice Biennale – or “La Biennale di Venezia”, in its official designation, was established in 1895. It is presently curated by the architects Nuno Grande and Roberto Cremascoli with the organization of the General Directorate of Arts. It has become one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in Europe and, since 1980, it includes the International Architecture Exhibition, where Portugal is currently being represented.

The project by Álvaro Siza Vieira focuses on social housing, and explores the architect's perspective on four social neighbourhoods in four European cities and his interpretation of the meaning of “neighbourhood”, in an increasingly multicultural Europe. “Contrary to the armed conflicts atmosphere, where nobody wins and one has a generalized feeling of defeat, the front of the building provides some vitality and sense of fresh air, because architecture is about looking at things in a positive way.

This is what we would like for people to see in the 15th International Architecture Exposition: successful stories that deserve to be shared about what is happening with architecture, now and in the future,” said Alejandro Aravena, at the opening of the exhibition, referring to the urban changes that have been happening, and his concern with the political and social issues associated.

The “Neighbourhood: where Álvaro meets Aldo” project focuses on social housing, and it explores the architect's perspective on four social neighbourhoods in four European cities: Porto, Venice, The Hague and Berlin. Curiously, in 1980s Álvaro Siza was assigned to make a social housing project in the Giudecca's island, in front of Venice's historic center, and the project is supposed to be finalized now after all these stationary years.

The Portuguese official representation opening program included a lunch with the President Campo di Marte, and a conference called “Progettare nella città storica: la Giudecca como laboratório urbano” (“Designing in the historical city: Giudecca as a urban laboratory”). This year 48 countries will participate in Biennale throughout Venice.

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Cultural Diplomacy News
Beatriz Nunes, CD News Team