The jury awarded prizes and mentions to outstanding protagonists of international architecture, both established and emerging

The typical ‘gaggiandre’, the awnings of the Arsenale, one of the venues of the Biennale [Photo Andrea Avezzù, Courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia]

The international Jury composed of Sofía von Ellrichshausen  (President of the Jury, Argentina), Frank Barkow (United States), Kate Goodwin (Australia), Patricia Patkau (Canada), Pier Paolo Tamburelli (Italy), announced the winners of the Golden Lions and special mentions explaining the reasons of their choices.

The members of the Jury, left to right, Paolo Tamburelli, Sofía von Ellrichshausen, Patricia Patkau, Frank Barkow, Kate Goodwin

Switzerland with ‘Svizzera 240: House Tour‘ won the Golden Lion for Best National Participation thanks to its very engaging architectural installation: visitors, entering this Alice in Wonderland-like Pavilion, are invited to reflect on the critical issues of constructive scale in domestic space.

Switzerland is awarded with the Golden Lion for ‘Svizzera 240: House Tour’

A special mention as National Participation went to Great Britain with ‘Island‘ for the courage to present a completely empty Pavilion that creates a ‘freespace’ for events and informal appropriation. It is also possible to go up to the terrace to admire the Giardini and Venice from above.

Special mention given to Great Britain

The Golden Lion for the best participant in the 16th Architecture Biennale FREESPACE was given to architect Eduardo Souto de Moura (Souto Moura Arquitectos – Porto, Portugal) for presenting his restoration project for the convent of Santa Maria do Bouro simply by pairing two aerial photographs revealing the essential relationship between architecture, time and place. ‘Freespace’ appears without being announced, plain and simple.

Eduardo Souto de Moura receives the Golden Lion for ‘best participant’ in Biennale 2018

The Silver Lion for a ‘promising young participant’ was actually assigned to a trio consisting of Jan de Vylder, Inge Vinck, Jo Taillieu (Architecten de Vylder Vinck Taillieu – Ghent, Belgium) for a project where slowness and waiting allow architecture to be open to future activation.

Jan de Vylder, Inge Vinck, Jo Taillieu receive the Silver Lion ‘for a promising young participant’

The Jury also gave two special mentions to Andra Matin (Jakarta, Indonesia) for a sensitive installation that provides a framework to reflect on the materials and shapes of traditional vernacular structures and to Rahul Mehrotra (Mumbai, India; Boston, USA) for three projects addressing issues of intimacy and empathy, gently diffusing social boundaries and hierarchies.

The two special mentions given to Andra Matin (above) and Rahul Mehrotra (below)

The recipient of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, assigned by the Board of La Biennale di Venezia chaired by Paolo Baratta, upon recommendation of Curators Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, is Kenneth Frampton, English architecture historian, critic and theorist, Professor at the Columbia University in New York.

The President of La Biennale di Venezia, Paolo Baratta, commented his victory with these words: “There is no student of the faculties of architecture who is unfamiliar with his ‘Modern Architecture: A Critical History’. The Golden Lion goes this year to a ‘maestro’, and in this sense it is also intended to be a recognition of the importance of the critical approach to the teaching of architecture.”

Paolo Baratta gives Kenneth Frampton the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement

[Text Paola Molteni]