Almost 500,000 art admirers go to Venice every odd-numbered year to see the Art Biennale, which serves as a model for all future biennales. The Venice Biennale has been one among the world’s most important cultural organisations for nearly 120 years. The art exhibition, dubbed ‘the Olympics of the art world’, featured some of the most renowned twentieth and twenty-first-century artists presenting their work, as well as a range of prominent critics and art historians as curators of the most exhibitions and the National Pavilions, all of which contributed to the event’s ‘pluralism of voices’.

The Venice Biennale of Architecture, also known as the Mostra di Architettura di Venezia, is an international exhibition that takes place every alternative year in Venice, Italy, and highlights architecture from across the world. Despite the fact that architecture has been existing for a long time, it is the architectural part of the Venice Biennale, which was legally founded in 1980.

What one must know about Mostra di Architettura di Venezia/ Venice Biennale of Architecture - Sheet1
British pavilion_©wikipedia

How it all started

La Biennale di Venezia took the first steps toward an architectural display in 1975, a growth so significant that it needed the hire of a new Visual Arts section head, Vittorio Gregotti, during Carlo Ripa di Meana’s four-year presidency (1975-1978). Vittorio Gregotti oversaw the A proposal del Mulino Stucky show in the Magazzini del Sale as part of the Visual Arts exhibition, which was followed by other architecture exhibitions in 1976 and 1978. During Giuseppe Galasso’s four-year presidency (1979-1982), the Architecture department became autonomous in 1980, with Paolo Portoghesi as its director. Following Aldo Rossi’s Teatro del Mondo (1979-1980), the new director organised the first International Architecture Exhibition in 1980, titled La presenza del passato.

National Pavilions

Each participating nation’s official representation is housed in a national pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Some countries own pavilion structures at the Giardini della Biennale, while others rent structures around the city; nonetheless, each country is responsible for its own selection process and production costs. In 2021, 60 National Participations, such as the old Pavilions in the Giardini, the Arsenale, and the medieval city centre of Venice, were brought to life. Additionally, Grenada, Iraq, and the Republic of Uzbekistan took part in the Biennale Architettura for the first time this year.


The Arsenale was Venice’s principal production base during the pre-industrial era, employing up to 2,000 workers full-time. It was a large complex of construction sites where the Serenissima ships were built, and it served as a symbol of the city’s economic, political, and military might. The Arsenale has been a Biennale display location since the first International Architecture Show in 1980. The same sites were later used for the Art Exhibitions for the Open Area. A beautification project has been in place since 1999, allowing the public to visit locations such as the Teatro alle Tese and the Teatro Piccolo Arsenale (2000), the Giardino delle Vergini (2009), and the Sale d’Armi.

What one must know about Mostra di Architettura di Venezia/ Venice Biennale of Architecture - Sheet2

Venice Biennale of Architecture 2021

The 17th International Architecture Exhibition, curated by architect and researcher Hashim Sarkis, happened from May 22 to November 21, 2021. Since 2015, Hashim Sarkis has served as Dean of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) School of Architecture and Planning. He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a Bachelor of Architecture and a Bachelor of Fine Arts, also as a Ph.D. in Architecture from Harvard University . He’s the author and editor of varied books and essays on the history and philosophy of recent architecture. This year’s subject was “How Will We Live Together?” Within the face of growing political differences and rising economic inequality, they urged architects to see locations where we’d graciously coexist.

The UAE received the Golden Lion for Best National Participation for their contribution to Wetland, coordinated by Wael Al Awar and Kenichi Teramoto. The winning entry in the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale, chosen by a jury that included Kazuyo Sejima (President of Japan), Sandra Barclay (Peru), Lamia Joreige (Lebanon), Lesley Lokko (Ghana-Scotland), and Luca Molinari (Italy), looks at the UAE’s local geography to find alternatives to cement, one of the world’s major CO2 emitters.

What one must know about Mostra di Architettura di Venezia/ Venice Biennale of Architecture - Sheet3
Venice biennale_©The fine guide
National pavilion by UAE_©Archdaily

Venice Biennale, Italian Società di Cultura la Biennale di Venezia, a world exhibition featuring architecture, visual arts, film, dance, music, and theatre held every two years within the summer in Venice’s Castello area. The number of pieces admitted rapidly increased as the event established itself as one of the premier international art events.


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Srishti Dasgupta is currently pursuing Architecture from Mumbai University. Her passion for art initiated her interest in Architecture.The creative field also inspired her to explore various aspects of art and culture. She intends to keep capturing the rationalities of everyday world, integrated with the creative world through different mediums.

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