Denton Corker Marshall has won an international design competition to design the new Australian pavilion in Venice’s Giardini della Biennale, the heart of the prestigious Venice Biennale events.
Organised by The Australia Council for the Arts, the competition received sixty-seven entries, with six firms selected to progress to stage 2 of the competition. The selection panel was unanimous in its selection of Denton Corker Marshall's design.
The Australia pavilion is one of only 29 national pavilions with a permanent site in the Giardini della Biennale. Australia's new pavilion is due to be completed for the opening of the 56th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale 2015.
In an exclusive interview with Artinfo Australia John Denton, Director and founder of Denton Corker Marshall, explained the philosophy behind the pavilion’s design.
“Small projects are great opportunities for us to explore our design philosophy. Over 30 years we have done this through six houses, mainly in the countryside – European interventions in the Australian landscape. This pavilion goes one step further – an ‘Australian’ building in a European landscape.
This exploration of architecture as ‘land art’ means in effect designing objects in the landscape. Simple, clear and definitive statements that are bold, confident and yet enigmatic.
The pavilion showcases Australian visual arts and architecture to international audiences at annual biennales. It was important to provide a new exhibition space that is flexible and adaptable, to embrace contemporary and future forms that art takes.
The design is the antithesis of a grand statement. We avoided imposing a mannered architectural 'event' on the artworks displayed within, rather creating a container on and in which ideas can be explored where the container in no way competes with those ideas.
We designed it to be enigmatic so that people will wonder what it is, and at the same time to be simple, strong and confident. It will be a building that proudly represents Australia and be recognised as a powerful addition to the pavilions in the Giardini.”
Within a footprint of approximately 320m2, the two-level pavilion will provide a new flexible and adaptable exhibition space to showcase Australian visual arts and architecture to international audiences at annual biennales.
The winning design is of the utmost simplicity, architecturally expressed as a white box contained within a black box. The architects have avoided imposing a mannered architectural 'event' on the artworks displayed within, rather creating a container on and in which ideas can be explored where the container in no way competes with those ideas.
It is proposed that the matte charcoal finish of the exterior will be from South Australian black granite. The interior gallery walls are standard white, and the floor is polished concrete. Free from affectation and obvious nationalistic statement, it is a powerful, confident yet discrete object within the heavily wooded gardens.
About Denton Corker Marshall:
Denton Corker Marshall produces innovative and memorable architecture and urban design. An interest in experimenting with materiality and the way architecture is made contributes to the distinctive architectural language for which the practice is critically acclaimed. Operating worldwide from offices in Melbourne, London and Jakarta, the practice is a significant contributor to the global architectural scene.
View a fly-through of the new Australian Pavilion below