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la Biennale di Venezia
Main Visual Entry Page Architettura EN (new)


Common Ground

13th International Architecture Exhibition
Common Ground
29th August – 25th November 2012
Sites: Arsenale and Giardini
Director appointed by President Paolo Baratta

The 13th Architecture Exhibition has arisen and developed from the path of research that la Biennale di Venezia carries out in the field of architecture, which in turn has made la Biennale a major event over the years. Evidence of this is the new record number of more than 178,000 visitors for this edition.

Designed by British architect David Chipperfield, the Exhibition spread over 10,000 square meters in a path from the Central Pavilion at the Giardini to the Arsenale. It comprised 69 projects made by architects, photographers, artists, critics and scholars. Many responded to the invitation of the Director with original proposals and installations expressly created for this Biennale, involving other colleagues with whom they share a Common Ground in their projects. A total of 119 participants took part in this Architecture Biennale.

David Chipperfield pointed out that he chose the theme Common Ground “to encourage my colleagues to react against the prevalent professional and cultural tendencies of our time that place such emphasis on individual and isolated actions. I encouraged them instead to demonstrate the importance of influence and of the continuity of cultural endeavour, to illustrate common and shared ideas that form the basis of an architectural culture.”

Golden Lion for Best National Participation: Japan
Golden Lion for the Best Project of the Common Ground Exhibition: Urban-Think Tank (Alfredo Brillembourg, Hubert Klumpner), Justin McGuirk and Iwan Baan
Silver Lion for a promising practice of the Common Ground Exhibition: Grafton Architects (Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara)
Special Mentions: Poland, United States of America, Russia, Cino Zucchi
Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement: Álvaro Siza Vieira