Fall Events in Italy: Venice’s Architecture Biennale

For those lucky enough to be in Venice between now and November 25, make sure you visit the Biennale di Venezia Architetture at the Giardini della Biennale and at the Arsenale. This ticketed event, now in its 13th year, celebrates international architecture with over 100 exhibits and another dozen or so “collateral” events and displays. This year’s theme is “Common Ground,” a nod to the unifying forces of architecture, a field which even David Chipperfield, the exhibition’s director, is burdened by a lack of understanding between the profession and the society.

Chipperfield has written an inspired introduction, available online here. In it, he lauds Venice and all of Italy, for its role in our collective perceptions and appreciation of architecture:

That the most important architectural exhibition takes place in Venice can be no accident. Venice supplies a stage that no other city could for such an event. Its architecture, modest and grandiose, combines with the lagoon to create something beyond nature itself. The city shames us by its beauty, reminding us of the real possibilities of architecture, both as individual acts and as part of a greater vision.

Against all odds, Italy remains the spiritual home of architecture and it is here we can fully understand the importance of buildings not as individual spectacles but as the manifestations of collective values and as the settings for daily life. The sensibility and understanding of the people is without doubt the result of living amongst the world’s greatest patrimony of architecture and urbanism.

Well said. As for the exhibition, judging from reviews, well done.


Through November 25, 2012

Daily 10 AM to 6 PM. Closed Mondays (except Monday November 19, 2012).


Ticket offices at Giardini and Arsenale (Campo Tana) 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Admission to the exhibition venues allowed until 5:45 p.m.

Buy your tickets online here.
The ticket is valid for one entry to each of the two exhibition venues (Giardini and Arsenale).

Small/medium sized pets are allowed in the green area at Giardini.

PRICE: 20€ Some discounts available.

NOTE: During the 56th International Festival of Contemporary Music (October 6 – 13, 2012) reduced price tickets will be available for both events. 
— Barbara Benham