New Zealand invited to 14th Venice Architecture Biennale
This year New Zealand has been invited to participate in the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale.
This will be New Zealand’s first country participation at the Biennale. The event is the Oscars/Olympics of Architecture, and the New Zealand Institute of Architects Incorporated are keen to connect with Kiwi’s who might want to use the event to promote business relationships, or celebrate successful Kiwis abroad!
'Last, loneliest, loveliest...'
In 2014, for the first time, New Zealand will present a national exhibition at the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale. The exhibition – entitled 'Last, loneliest, loveliest' – will run in Venice from 7 June to 23 November.The Creative Director is David Mitchell, a director of Mitchell & Stout Architects in Auckland.
Rem Koolhaas, director of the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale, has chosen 'Fundamentals' as the title of this year's Biennale, and all national exhibitions will respond to a theme of 'Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014'.
Each participating country's will reflect on the relationship between modernisation and their respective national styles of architecture over the past century.Koolhaas suggests that over the last 100 years national characteristics in architecture have given way to a single, ubiquitous modern language. The result is an increasingly homogeneous architecture.
Is Koolhaas right? Perhaps, says, David Mitchell, Creative Director of the New Zealand exhibition – "but it’s more complicated than that".
“I believe there is a great unsung Pacific architecture that has become more distinctive in New Zealand over the last century, as the influence of England has declined,” Mitchell says.
“Unlike European architecture, which is about mass, Pacific architecture is light-weight – it’s made of posts and beams with panel infills, and big roofs. You can see this architecture expressed over the course of the last 100 years, from the M?ori meeting house to the new Auckland Art Gallery Toi o T?maki and Christchurch’s Cardboard Cathedral.”
“With the advent of these new buildings there has been no better time to focus on the Pacific in New Zealand architecture, and to propose that modernisation does not necessarily preclude difference.”