ÁLvaro Siza and Studio Albori to Design Vatican Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2023
Chapel by Javier Corvalán for the Holy See Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu
Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza Vieira was chosen by the Holy See to create the installation that will represent it at the Venice Architecture Biennale, which will take place between May 20 and November 26, 2023. In collaboration with Studio Albori from Italy, the pavilion of the Vatican will be dedicated to the theme of social friendship. This is in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the pontificate of Pope Francis.
Aerial view of the chapels of the Holy See Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu
Portuguese Cardinal José Tolentino Mendonça, prefect of the Dicastery for Culture and Education and commissioner of the Pavilion of the Holy See, expressed his satisfaction at the institution’s return to the Venice Biennale five years later. This edition celebrates the role of architects in creating a more sustainable and better future.
Siza (winner of the 1992 Pritzker Prize) and the Italian collective Studio Albori (composed of Emanuele Almagioni, Giacomo Borella and Francesca Riva) want their installation, entitled O Encontro, to establish a dialogue with the theme of the Bienal, The Laboratory of the Future, proposed by Lesley Lokko, curator of the 2023 edition.
Chapel by Eduardo Souto de Moura for the Holy See Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu
Siza’s installation will guide visitors through the Abbey of San Giorgio Maggiore rooms to outdoors: a garden refurbished by Studio Albori. This space, usually reserved for the Benedictine community, will be open to visitors during the Venice Biennale.
The Portuguese cardinal stated that the Holy See’s second participation in the Venice Biennale is intended to be “a manifestation of the Church’s desire to be close, not only to the world of architecture but to arts in general. It should be seen as a programmatic declaration of how the Dicastery will seek to ensure the presence of the Church in those places, events and spaces where artists gather”. The aim is “to recover a sense of the Church as a friend of artists, interested in celebrating and highlighting their achievements to develop a richer dialogue and a growth in mutual understanding.”
Flores&Prats Chapel for the Holy See Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu
In 2018, the Holy See participated in the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale. It exhibited ten chapels designed by names such as Eduardo Souto de Moura, Smiljan Radic, Carla Juaçaba, Norman Foster and Javier Corvalán. In that edition, the Holy See occupied the gardens of São Jorge Island.
The 18th International Architecture Exhibition will feature official representations from 63 countries, with Portugal and Brazil being the only Portuguese-speaking countries present.
Source: Vatican News