New Zealand architects invited to submit proposals for Venice Architecture Biennale

New Zealand architects invited to submit proposals for Venice Architecture Biennale

New Zealand will, for the first time, enter a national exhibtion at the Venice Architecture Biennale, the world's leading architecture event. 

The New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) is supporting an official New Zealand presence at next year’s Venice Architecture Biennale and is inviting submissions from individuals and teams interested in creating the New Zealand exhibition.  

According to NZIA President David Sheppard, participation in the Biennale is an unrivalled opportunity to engage with the international architectural community, showcase New Zealand’s design capability and raise the profile of architecture and design within New Zealand.

“It’s a big undertaking to stage an exhibition in Venice, and we’ll have to raise significant funds to make it happen, but New Zealand architecture deserves to take its place on the world stage,” he says. “A competition to design a Biennale exhibition is also an ideal means to test our architectural thinking and examine our design culture.”

“We expect a New Zealand exhibition to tell an engaging story about New Zealand architecture to an international audience and make a meaningful response to the Biennale theme.”

Sheppard notes that ‘Fundamentals’, the theme chosen by the director of next year’s Biennale, the acclaimed Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, is especially relevant to smaller countries as it focuses on the relationship between architecture’s universal qualities and its national characteristics.

“The Biennale theme asks architects from all around the world to consider what we have in common, and what makes us different.” 

The New Zealand exhibition will be designed and developed by a Creative Director or Creative Directors. Individuals, multi-disciplinary teams and students of architecture and design are encouraged to submit an exhibition proposal by 11 October via the NZIA website.

Sheppard says that while an architect must be associated with an exhibition proposal, there is plenty of scope for collaboration with practitioners or students from other disciplines.

A jury appointed by the NZIA will select a shortlist from submitted proposals. Shortlisted candidates for the Creative Director/Creative Directors role will then develop their proposals and present them for final adjudication by the competition jury. 

In 2014, the Biennale will run from 7 June to 23 November.