15th Venice Architecture Biennale | Spain

Place: Venice, Country: Italy
La Biennale di Venezia
Spanish pavilion | Unfinished
commissioners / curators:
Iñaqui Carnicero, Carlos Quintáns
Text by Federica Lusiardi
Photos: see bylines

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The Spanish Pavilion – Venice Biennale’s Gardens, photo Inexhibit

Unfinished | The Spanish Pavilion at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale 2016

The exhibition Unfinished in the Spanish pavilion at the 15th Architecture Biennale focuses on the large number of uncompleted and/or abandoned buildings in Spain, a consequence of the frantic expansion of the construction industry the country was experiencing before the financial crisis of 2008. The lack of a long-term planning strategy and a reflection on the real usefulness of those projects, often conceived with the sole purpose to get a short-term profit, produced an enormous number of buildings abandoned just after the crisis begun, because there was no longer an economic reason for their completion and/or maintenance.

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“Unfinished”. The pavilion of Spain at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016,
installation views. Photo courtesy la biennale di Venezia.

With Unfinished, the exhibition curators Iñaqui Carnicero and Carlos Quintáns propose a positive and hopeful vision of contemporary architecture, by presenting projects which have been able to create novel opportunities from this modern ruins, transforming and converting them into something eventually capable to meet Spanish people’s real needs instead than fascinating them with a fake architectural “grandeur”.

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Iñaqui Carnicero and Carlos Quintáns, curators of the Spanish exhibitions; photo by Andrea Avezzù

The themes of unfinished, proactive design, and constant transformation are perfectly expressed by the exhibition architecture , composed of metal profiles and photographs framed in pale wood to form a series of “incomplete matrices”.
Additionally, in a separate room, video interviews to architects, academics and architectural critics are projected onto a pile of cardboard boxes.

The Pavilion of Spain has been awarded the Golden Lion for Best National Participation.

Spanish pavilion Biennale Venezia Architettura 2016 Padiglione Spagnolo Inexhibit 08

Spanish pavilion Biennale Venezia Architettura 2016 Padiglione Spagnolo Inexhibit 05

Spanish pavilion Biennale Venezia Architettura 2016 Padiglione Spagnolo Inexhibit 07

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Spanish pavilion Biennale Venezia Architettura 2016 Padiglione Spagnolo Inexhibit 02

Spanish pavilion Biennale Venezia Architettura 2016 Padiglione Spagnolo Inexhibit 03

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“Unfinished”. The pavilion of Spain at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016, installation views. All photos by Inexhibit


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Giardini della Biennale
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Built in 1807, the Giardini della Biennale (Biennale’s Gardens) is the main venue of the annual art and architecture exhibitions of the Venice Biennale


Venice Architecture Biennale 2016 – Reporting from the Front – INDEX

Venice Architecture Biennale 2016 – Reporting from the Front – INDEX

Venice Architecture Biennale 2016 – Reporting from the Front – INDEX


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