Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli to Curate Russian Pavilion at Venice Biennale

, Architecture

Author: Timur Zolotoev

Titled Open!, the project will spotlight young Russian architects and will focus on the renovation of the century-old building of the pavilion.

Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli. Photo courtesy OMA

Italian architect and urbanist Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli will be the curator of the Russian Pavilion at the 2020 Venice Biennale of Architecture, the commissioner of the pavilion Teresa Iarocci Mavica announced on Friday.

Mavica said the exhibition will be focused on the need to renovate the pavilion, which was built by renowned Russian architect Alexey Shchusev in 1914. An open call for young architects to present their vision of the pavilion has been launched on the website of the pavilion. It will run through January 31, 2020. The winner will be announced in February. Participating architects should be up to 40 years old.

Pestellini Laparelli, who is a partner at OMA/AMO, said that during the exhibition the pavilion will turn into a temporary architecture office where visitors will be able to see and engage with the project of renovation. The reconstruction should be finished by the start of the Art Biennale in 2021.

Open! will be a response to the theme How We Will Live Together, which was announced by the curator of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition Hashim Sarkis.

“As a response to Hashim Sarkis’ curatorial framework, the Russian Pavilion will act as a temporary institution giving shape to a “new spatial contract” through an open and ever changing dialogue and cross pollination between those who will inhabit and work in the Pavilion—from academics to craftsmen, from designers to activists—and the audience who will interfere and use it as a vehicle of access, discussion and knowledge,” Pestellini Laparelli said.

The Russian Pavilion in Venice. Photo courtesy the Hermitage.

The architect co-curated Manifesta’s 12th edition, which took place in Palermo in 2018, and has led and edited OMA’s urban studies on the Sicilian city.

“As part of Manifesta 12 in Palermo his project involved transdisciplinary research in a complex urban environment, investigating new models of coexistence,” Mavica said at a press conference. “The theme of the Biennale and the prospects of this collaboration have helped us to formulate the thesis for our program—we can live together only by working and building together, quite literally being side by side.”

Earlier in November, Mavica, co-founder and director of the V-A-C Foundation, was appointed the commissioner of the Russian Pavilion, replacing Semyon Mikhailovsky. Consulting group SmartArt took over the strategic management of the pavilion.

The Venice Biennale of Architecture will take place in Giardini and Arsenale from May 23 to November 29, 2020.

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