Hunt starts for Venice British Pavilion designer

David Rogers

Winner will be chosen in late September

The British Council has begun the search for the designer of the British pavilion at next year’s Venice Biennale.

The event will take place from 26 May to 25 November and will focus on freespace which the artistic directors of next year’s event, Yvonne Farrell and Shelly McNamara from Irish practice Grafton Architects, wanting participants to “reveal the diversity, specificity and continuity in architecture”.

According to the British Council, who will commission the pavilion, the proposals should consider architecture as an expression of culture, through site, materials and landscape, adding: “The exhibition proposals should offer an acute observation of contemporary British architecture and its relationship with the rest of the world.”

Initial expressions of interest would be expected to take the form of a short, illustrated concept statement and must be received by midnight on 7 August. Four teams will then be invited to work up a fully developed exhibition concept to be received by 12 September with the winner due to be announced around two weeks later.

Sarah Mann, commissioner of the British Pavilion and British Council director of Architecture Design Fashion, said: “We want the British Pavilion exhibition to provide an experience of the uplifting power of architecture. We are asking for proposals which challenge conventional exhibition formats, encourage participation and offer a new experience of contemporary British architecture.”

Recent curators of the pavilion have included Shumi Bose, Jack Self and Finn Williams whose Home Economics pavilion last year focussed on the housing crisis while in 2014 more than 130,000 people visited the pavilion (pictured) called A Clockwork Jerusalem, curated by ex-FAT partner Sam Jacob and Wouter Vanstiphout of Crimson Architectural Historians.

Next year’s pavilion will be the first one at Venice that has been overseen by Mann since she replaced Vicky Richardson, who left the British Council last year after six years.

Full details of how to enter can be found here.

 

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