September 16, 2014


Curated by Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli

Curated by Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli
The component parts of Monditalia, the 41 projects that line the vast corridor of the Arsenale, provide contextualization for architecture operating within larger systems, be it politics, media, border control, religion, etc. When we spoke to Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli of AMOMonditalia’s head curator, he stressed that “the exhibition is a method, more than anything. This idea of the scanning through the country, selecting case studies, selecting another way to represent the case studies…it’s a method that can be applied also elsewhere.”
Monditalia mobilizes the other sectors of the Venice Biennale — Cinema, Dance and Music — in order to capture a “polyphonic” portrait of a European country with what Laparelli describes as “extreme conditions.” Infographics produced in preparation for the exhibition demonstrate the statistical disparities between Italy and other nations. The scan of Italy begins from the south and continues to the north, allowing “different topics to collaps[e] or collid[e] onto each other, such as you would find when you travel through a real territory.”
Monditalia’s events have been programmed to take place between June and November in conjunction with a series of 21 Weekend Specials that allow further exploration of the issues/topics/case studies brought forth in the exhibition at large.
From the Official Catalog of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition. The physical presence of the Arsenale is interpreted as an ideal set. Rather than a sequence of individual episodes that typically do not connect to form a single narrative, we propose to dedicate the Arsenale to a single theme (Italy) and to mobilize other sectors of la Biennale di Venezia (Cinema, Dance, Music and Theater) to collectively contribute to a comprehensive portrait of the host country.
In a moment of crucial political transformation, we decided to look at Italy as a “fundamental” country, completely unique but sharing certain features–particularly the coexistence of immense riches, creativity, competences, and potential, combined with political turbulence–that make it a prototype of the current moment.
Monditalia conducts a scan of Italy. Along the Corderie, either-two Italian movies and forty-one architectural case studies, developed in collaboration with many young researchers, are arranged geographically from south to north–from northern Africa to the Alps. Cinema and architecture together offer a series of virtual sections at progressive latitudes, gathering and illustrating significant Italian subjects: history, architecture, politics, religion, technology, economics, industry and media, representing the complex Italian reality as a paradigm of local and global conditions.
Between June and November, throughout the Corderie, the Dance, Theater, and Music sectors will rehearse and perform in the same spaces, along with other that complement the permanent exhibition. Each production could leave a physical trace in the form of sets, objects, written material, projections, or the extended presence of “actors.” A series of “stages,” different in size, permeability and transformability, will accommodate lectures, debates, shows, workshops, performances, reenactments, turning the Corderie into a multidisciplinary work in progress, constantly evolving and on permanent display.
Together, these espies generate a portrait of the entire country as depicted by the Tabula Peutingeriana, a fifth-century map of Italy as the core of the Roman Empire that is still entirely relevant today…
All the photographs for Monditalia:14 th Venice Architecture Biennale of this news had taken by © Nico Saieh.
You may visit Rem Koolhaas's project of Hamburg Science Center to click below link from my blog archive.

June 7, 2014 – November 23, 2014
Rem Koolhaas has stated: “Fundamentals will be a Biennale about architecture, not architects. After several Biennales dedicated to the celebration of the contemporary, Fundamentals will focus on histories – on the inevitable elements of all architecture used by any architect, anywhere, anytime (the door, the floor, the ceiling etc.) and on the evolution of national architectures in the last 100 years. In three complementary manifestations – taking place in the Central Pavilion, the Arsenale, and the National Pavilions – this retrospective will generate a fresh understanding of the richness of architecture’s fundamental repertoire, apparently so exhausted today.
In 1914, it made sense to talk about a “Chinese” architecture, a “Swiss” architecture, an “Indian” architecture. One hundred years later, under the influence of wars, diverse political regimes, different states of development, national and international architectural movements, individual talents, friendships, random personal trajectories and technological developments, architectures that were once specific and local have become interchangeable and global. National identity has seemingly been sacrificed to modernity. 
Having the decisive advantage of starting work a year earlier than the Biennale’s typical schedule, we hope to use this extra time to introduce a degree of coordination and coherence among the National Pavilions. Ideally, we would want the represented countries to engage a single theme –Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014 – and to show, each in their own way, the process of the erasure of national characteristics in favour of the almost universal adoption of a single modern language in a single repertoire of typologies.
The First World War – the beginning of modern globalization – serves a starting point for the range of narratives. The transition to what seems like a universal architectural language is a more complex process than we typically recognize, involving significant encounters between cultures, technical inventions and imperceptible ways of remaining “national.” In a time of ubiquitous google research and the flattening of cultural memory, it is crucial for the future of architecture to resurrect and expose these narratives. 
By telling the history of the last 100 years cumulatively, the exhibitions in the National Pavilions will generate a global overview of architecture’s evolution into a single, modern aesthetic, and at the same time uncover within globalization the survival of unique national features and mentalities that continue to exist and flourish even as international collaboration and exchange intensify… 

President Paolo Baratta explained the evolution of the Architecture Biennale and consequently the choice of Rem Koolhaas:
“We are universally recognized as the most important event in the world for Architecture; we are the place where Architecture talks about itself and meets life and society at large. For this reason over the past few years our choices of curators and themes have been based on the awareness of the gap between the “spectacularization” of architecture on the one hand, and the waning capacity of society to express its demands and its needs on the other hand. The architects are called upon prevalently to create awe-inspiring buildings and the “ordinary” is going astray, towards banality if not squalor: a modernity lived bad.
At the culmination of this process we have asked Rem Koolhaas to engage himself in an original research project.
The Exhibition is also evolving in the way it is organized. Born as an “imitation” of the Art Exhibition and developed to “invite” architects to bring us their installations, just like for the Art Biennale, it is evolving into a major Exhibition-research project conducted directly by the curator (who is in fact appointed as the director of the Architecture sector of the Biennale). The countries are offered the opportunity for a better integration into this research project. The Exhibition will be enhanced by an increasing number of activities throughout its duration, with workshops and seminarsthat enrich it as an active-Exhibition. For this reason we have decided to anticipate the opening date to the 7th of June and to make the Exhibition last as long as the Art Exhibition (about 6 months).” 
The 14 International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia also present, as is traditional, the National Participations with their own exhibitions in the Pavilions at the Giardini and at the Arsenale, and in the historic city centre of Venice. 
This edition also include selected Collateral Events, presented by international entities and institutions, which present their exhibitions and initiatives in Venice concurrently with the 14th Exhibition.



Rem Koolhaas (Rotterdam 1944) founded OMA in 1975 together with Elia and Zoe Zenghelis and Madelon Vriesendorp. Koolhaas worked as a journalist and screenwriter before beginning architecture, and writing has remained central to his architectural practice. At the same time as designing buildings around the world with OMA, Koolhaas works in non-architectural disciplines – including politics, publishing, media, fashion, and sociology – through his think tank and research unit, AMO.
After studying at the Architectural Association in London, and at Cornell and the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in the US, Koolhaas wrote Delirious New York (1978) and simultaneously began producing projects and proposals with OMA. In 1995, S,M,L,XL summarized the work of OMA in a 1,200-page book that redefined architectural publishing. As director of the Project on the City research program at Harvard University, Koolhaas produced the books The Harvard Guide to Shopping (2001), an analysis of the role of retail and consumption in society and architecture, and Great Leap Forward(2002), a study of China’s Pearl River Delta; he also produced studies on Lagos, Roman architecture and communism.
Recently completed OMA buildings include De Rotterdam, three interconnected towers on the river Maas; Shenzhen Stock Exchange; the G-Star headquarters in Amsterdam; the new headquarters for China Central Television (CCTV) – a tower reinvented as a loop – in Beijing; a new headquarters for Rothschild Bank in London; and Milstein Hall, an elevated slab that extends Cornell’s college of Architecture, Art and Planning.
OMA-designed buildings currently under construction include the Taipei Performing Arts Centre; three buildings in Doha, Qatar; the Bibliothèque Multimédia à Vocation Régionale, a four-story public library in Caen; and Bryghusprojektet in Copenhagen, a mixed-use project accommodating the new headquarters for the Danish Architecture Centre.
In 1998, Koolhaas established AMO as a platform for using architectural thinking in non-architectural realms. Recent AMO projects include research into the countryside (globally) and the Russian hinterland; the design of catwalk shows for Prada and Miu Miu; “Cronocaos,” an exhibition on preservation, at the 2010 Venice Biennale; participation in the EU Reflection Group think tank, with the task of making proposals for Europe in 2020; Roadmap 2050, a masterplan for a Europe-wide renewable energy grid; and the development of an educational program for Strelka, a new architecture school in Moscow. AMO has also guest edited an issue of Wired magazine as well as consulting on the future of Conde Nast magazines; proposed a “barcode” EU flag; and developed a curatorial masterplan for the Hermitage museum, St. Petersburg.
De Rotterdam, Rotterdam, 2013
CCTV Headquarters, Beijing, 2012
Rothschild Bank, London, 2012
Millstein Hall, Cornell, NY, 2010
Maggie’s Center, Gartnavel, 2010
Wyly Theatre, Dallas, 2009
Prada Transformer, Seoul, 2009
Serpentine pavilion, London, 2006
Zeche Zollverein Museum and masterplan, Essen, 2006
Seoul National University Museum of Art, 2006
Casa da Música, Porto, 2005
Prada Epicenter, New York, 2001
Seattle Central Library, 2004
Netherlands Embassy, Berlin, 2003
IIT Campus Center, Chicago, 2003
Hermitage Guggenheim, Las Vegas, 2001
Maison à Bordeaux, 1998
Educatorium, Utrecht, 1997
Euralille Congrexpo + masterplan, 1994
Kunsthal, Rotterdam, 1992
Nexus World Housing, Fukuoka, 1991
Villa d’allava, Paris, 1991
Netherlands Dance Theatre, The Hague, 1987
Project Japan: Metabolism Talks, Taschen, 2011
Al Manakh I and II, Archis, 2007 and 2010
Content, Taschen, 2003
Great Leap Forward, Taschen, 2002
Harvard Guide to Shopping, Taschen 2001
S,M,L,XL, Monacelli, 1995
Delirious New York, Oxford University Press, 1978
(Im)pure, (In)formal, (Un)built, L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 2011
OMA/Progress, Barbican, London, 2010
Cronocaos, Venice Biennale, 2010
Dubai Next, Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, 2008
The Gulf, Venice Biennale, 2006
OMA in Beijing, MoMA, New York, 2006
Expansion and Neglect, Venice Biennale, 2005
Image of Europe: Vienna, Brussels, Munich, 2004
Content, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 2003
Cities on the Move, Hayward Gallery, London, 1999
Less is More, Milan Triennale, 1986
Strada Novissima, Venice Biennale, 1980
Strelka Institute, Moscow
Professor in Practice of Architecture and Urban Design, Harvard University
Architectural Association, London
Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, New York
Johannes Vermeer Prijs, 2013
Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, Venice Biennale, 2010
RIBA Gold Medal, 2004
Praemium Imperiale, Japan, 2003
Membership Legion D’Honneur, 2001
Pritzker Prize, 2000
Mies van der Rohe Award, 2005
Architectural Association, London, 1969–72
Cornell University, 1972–73