6th International Architecture Exhibition
Director: Hans HOLLEIN
15th September – 17th November 1996
Site: Padiglione Italia, National Pavilions at Giardini
Director appointed by President Gianluigi Rondi
The sixth Architecture Biennale is committed to the direction of a prestigious international personality, Austrian architect Hans Hollein, who confirms Dal Co’s setting-out, modeling the exhibition to the standards of the Visual Arts one, and hosting national participations. Sensori del futuro. L’architetto come sismografo is the title of the main exhibition hosted at the Padiglione Italia, and its aim is to investigate the architect’s ability to catch underground vibes of present times, translating them in the future. Hollein thinks it is not appropriate for architects to be part of specific movements or schools of thought in the 90’s; otherwise, they should be self-sufficient professional figures, not dependent from classifications. Thanks to the attention paid to these unusual elements, such as communication systems and new technologies, architects can change key places in urban landscapes, challenging the traditional idea of urban space inherited from traditions.
Approximately seventy architects were invited to exhibit a significant project, to be a sort of personal testament. This is why, on this edition, the rooms of the Padiglione Italia were filled with the works of the major international architects, such as Frank O. Gehry (with his designs for the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao), Tadao Ando, Jean Nouvel, Renzo Piano, Zaha Hadid, Coop Himmelb(l)au, Peter Eisenman, Norman Foster, Herzog & de Meuron, Arata Isozaki, Toyo Ito, Philippe Stark, Jorn Utzon, Alvaro Siza Vieira, Massimiliano Fuksas, Rem Koolhaas, Rafael Moneo.
Along with globally renowned architects, Hollein also organized the Emerging Voices exhibition, where young promising talents were gathered from all over the world, such as Odile Decq, Liz Diller with Ricardo Scofidio, Peter Zumthor, Ben van Berkel, Kazuyo Sejima.
The Padiglione Italia also hosted the Radicals retrospective, centered in the most radical experiences of urban architecture from the end of the 50’s until the beginning of the 70’s. The Italian section, curated by Marino Folin and set up at the Padiglione Italia with big scale projects and facades, was devoted to young architects between 30 and 40 years of age, displaying works that had to be no more than 5 years old. A photographic exhibition, realized thanks to the joint collaboration between photographer Gabriele Basilico and architect Stefano Boeri and dedicated to the Italian landscape – both urban and natural-, was hosted there as well.
In 1996, the Golden Lion was instituted for the Architecture Biennale; and three great masters of the 20th century, Ignazio Gardella, Philip Johnson and Oscar Niemeyer were awarded the prize.
Golden Lion for best National Participant:
Golden Lion for best interpretation of exhibition: Odile Decq-Benoît Cornette, Juha Kaakko, Ilkka Laine, Kimmo Liimatainen, Jari Tirkkonen, Enric Miralles Moya
Special Osella for an extraordinary initiative in contemporary architecture: Pascal Maragall, Mayor of Barcelona
Special Osella for media exposure in the field of contemporary architecture: Wim Wenders
Special Osella for best architecture photographer: Gabriele Basilico