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The Biennale Architettura 2021 closes with over 300,000 visitors
Architecture -

The Biennale Architettura 2021 closes with over 300,000 visitors

The number of visitors exceeded that of the 2018 edition (pre-Covid).

The 17th Exhibition

Today, Sunday 21 November 2021, the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia closed with a total of 298,600 visitors, plus the 6,000 visitors during the preview, thereby exceeding the numbers of the 2018 edition.

Despite the particularity of this year which imposed so many restrictions on the school system and on national and international universities, young people under the age of 26 represented 32% of the total visitors.
18,614 visitors took the guided tours (+9% compared to 2018), of which 7,125 joined the pre-scheduled tours (+214% compared to 2018).

Roberto Cicutto

The President of La Biennale Roberto Cicutto commented the results as follows:

“It’s too easy and too obvious to say that we are satisfied with the success of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition. We have too often repeated that we are proud to have been able to put it together with the collaboration of everyone involved (local and national authorities, the Curator and La Biennale di Venezia’s team, as well as the participants and the public) in times as hard as those imposed by the pandemic. It is easy and obvious but essential to repeat it because underlying it all is something very deep, that reaches beyond the analysis of the numbers and the appreciation for the content of the Exhibition.
The majority of the visitors were Italian (among them many from Venice and its surroundings), and a significant number of visitors were able to travel to Venice by land from the countries closest to Italy. Many were the families, young men and women, professionals of every age who came to visit the Exhibition having organized a trip to Venice. This is a new endowment of women and men whom we must convince to keep this engagement with La Biennale di Venezia and perhaps extend it to the other events and festivals (Art, Cinema, Dance, Theatre and Music).
These people have understood one thing perfectly: that culture has now become a non-secondary element for the quality of our lives, essential for us to understand and be more aware of what happened across world over the past two years (and more).
But at the same time, I wish to underscore once again the qualities of the realisation that went into the Exhibition, conceived and designed by Hashim Sarkis before Covid, which made it even more relevant and necessary. Finally, I would like to thank the countries of the National Pavilions, who proved tenacious in building their participation in this historic Biennale Architettura 2021.”

Hashim Sarkis

The Curator of the Biennale Architettura 2021 Hashim Sarkis on his part stated:

“The 17th International Architecture Exhibition has just closed. But it is way too soon to assess its impact, whether on the discourse of architecture or on the trajectory of ideas and practices to come. Give it at least until the next Biennale!
Words and images have their own ways of traveling and they often arrive before we attribute meaning or value to them. They seduce us, they create desire and then they find a way to latch on to meaning, to a certain spirit of the time, and they become the illustrations of this spirit. These, our nascent times, are looking for images, and they are also looking for a spirit. Let us hope that the projects of the Biennale Architettura 2021 will generate such imagery, but let us give ourselves time before we can say more about them and before they can say more about us.
The global uncertainties have only made this Biennale stronger, and they have helped give the question How will we live together? more relevance and urgency, even if with a bit of irony. The pandemic was a year lost but it was also a year gained, because it allowed us more time to think and collaborate.”

The Exhibition in numbers

114 Architects invited to the International Exhibition
12 Projects Co-Habitats section (out of competition)
11 Projects Stations section (out of competition)
4 Special Participations (out of competition): Vuslat Foundation; Frontispiece: CULTURE- C1; Collective Exhibition: Future Assembly; Sport Platform
1 Special Project: Pavilion of Applied Arts in collaboration with Victoria and Albert Museum, London
11 Meetings on Architecture – Expanded Programme
 National Participations
       27 National Participations in the historical Pavilions of Giardini
       23 National Participations in the Arsenale, including Italy
       10 National Participations around the city of Venice
       3 National Participations for the first time: Grenada, Iraq, Republic of Uzbekistan
17 Collateral Events

Biennale Sessions

The Biennale Sessions project – dedicated to Universities, Fine Arts Academies, research and educational institutions in the fields of architecture, the visual arts and connected fields ­­– for the ninth year in a row favoured the visit to the Exhibition of groups of students and teachers, for a total of 102 universities involved, of which 30 Italian and 72 foreign, from every continent. With 9 universities involved, Germany ranks second in terms of participation, followed by the United Kingdom (5), Spain and Austria (4). A total of 2,809 students were involved in the project.

Educational activities and guided tours

13,148 the young people and students who participated in the Educational activities
601 groups
2,590 teachers involved in the Educational activities in the exhibition venue
1,564 teachers involved in the dedicated previews
335 participating schools

51% of the young participants in the Educational activities came from the Veneto region.

An important contribution was given by the 30 Active Catalogues: the young graduates, standing in the Exhibition, according to an editorial project provided information to the visitors, who met the initiative with great favor.

Communication, Web and Social Media

The digital communication of the Biennale Architettura 2021 began in 2020 with the project Biennale Architettura Sneak Peek, which posted videos, images, podcasts and texts about setting up the Exhibition. Subsequently, the content posted during the Biennale Architettura 2021 on the social platforms of La Biennale di Venezia counted 90 million views overall.


Official website
22 May > 19 November 2021

1,977,383 individual visitors
8,745,588 page views (compared to 5,953,789 in 2018)

- mobile: 1,223,130 users (61,68%)
- desktop: 719,899 users (36,30%)
- tablet: 39,983 users (2,02%)


Social Media
20 May > 18 November 2021

392,773 total fans of the page
+14,118 since the opening of the Biennale Architettura 2021
(Biennale Architettura 2018: 341,720 total followers on November 24, 2018)

702,908 total page followers
(Biennale Architettura 2018: 701,559  total followers on November 24, 2018)

total page followers
+ 60,141 since the opening of the Biennale Architettura 2021
(Biennale Architettura 2018: 297,907 total followers on November 24, 2018)

Total subscribers to the channel 41,833
subscribers since the beginning of the Biennale Architettura 2021


The 17th Exhibition was organised with the support of Rolex, Partner and Official Watch of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition, Artemide, Edison, Vela - Venezia Unica, Paola Lenti.
Media Partner of the 17th Exhibition Rai Cultura.

We would also like to thank Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.
We wish to thank the Italian Ministry of Culture, the local institutions that each in their own way support La Biennale di Venezia, the City of Venice, the Regione Veneto, the Archaeology, Fine Arts, and Landscape Services for the City of Venice and the Lagoon, the Italian Navy.

Our thanks go to our Donors, who are essential to the creation of the 17th Exhibition:
Major Donor, Qatar Museums
Main Donor, LUMA Foundation
Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction; Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship; Sandra and Tony Tamer; Drees & Sommer, Elise Jaffe + Jeffrey Brown.

We especially wish to thank Hashim Sarkis and his team.

And finally we would like to thank the highly professional staff of La Biennale di Venezia, who work with such great dedication on the organisation and management of the Exhibition throughout its duration.