Giardini della Biennale

Sestiere Castello, Venezia
Veneto, Italy
Phone: +39 (0)41 5218711
closed on: variable, see the Biennale's website
Museum Type: Cultural centers

Together with the Arsenale, the Giardini della Biennale (Biennale’s Gardens) in Venice is one of the main exhibition venues of the Venice Biennale: every year they house one major event, the Art Biennale since 1895 and the Architecture Biennale since 1980, both widely regarded among the most important events in the world in their respective fields.

In a luxuriant 43,000-square-meter (450,000-square-foot) garden facing the Venice lagoon – commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte, designed by the Italian landscape architect Giannantonio Selva in 1807, and completed five years later – 29 national pavilions and a central building were built over time, with the aim of showcasing the best of each country’s art and architecture.

The Central Pavilion, which once was the Italian pavilion and was converted into a 3,500-square-meter (37,000 square-foot) multi-functional venue in 2009, usually accommodates one of the two curator’s exhibitions (the other being located at the Arsenale), while each national pavilion features its art or architecture exhibition.

The pavilions are a remarkable architecture exhibition in themselves, with constructions built after designs by celebrated architects, such as Josef Hoffmann (Pavilion of Austria, 1934), Gerrit Rietveld (Dutch pavilion, 1953), Carlo Scarpa (Sculpture garden of the Central Pavilion, 1952, and pavilion of Venezuela, 1954), Alvar Aalto (Pavilion of Finland, 1956), and Sverre Fehn (Nordic countries pavilion, 1962) among others. The latest pavilion built at the Giardini is that of Australia, completed in 2015.

The Giardini complex includes two bookshops, one of which is housed in a building designed by James Stirling in 1991, and two cafes.

Venice Biennale Giardini map of pavilions Inexhibit

Site map of the Giardini della Biennale, with the national pavilions


View of the Giardini della Biennale; on the right, the Pavilion of Australia, completed in 2015


The bookstore designed by James Stirling, 1991


The Austrian pavilion designed by Josef Hoffmann in 1934


The United States pavilion, designed by Chester Holmes Aldrich and William Adams Delano in 1930


The Venezia Pavilion, completed in 1938, is a large structure that houses the exhibitions of the city of Venice, Serbia, Egypt, Poland, and Romania


The Nordic Countries Pavilion, designed by the Norwegian architect Sverre Fehn in 1962

All photos by Riccardo Bianchini, © Inexhibit

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