The 16th Venice Architecture Biennale closed its doors on Sunday, November 25, ending a successful year for the prestigious design exhibition. According to a statement from the biennale’s organizers, over 275,000 people visited the show and half of those visitors were under the age of 26.
The event’s curators for 2018, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects, said in a statement that the show left them “with a deep sense of optimism for the future, in the knowledge that within these satellites of cultural energy which each participant represented, there are outstanding architects promoting and producing architecture.”
This year’s theme was FREESPACE, which, according to Farrell and McNamara, was meant to “celebrate the shared culture of architecture, demonstrating how inventive, comforting, exhilarating, modest, heroic architecture can be; how architecture serves the needs of human beings with dignity and respect be it the need for shelter, for water, for protection from flooding; how materials can be transformed into beautiful uplifting spaces; how architecture can bring people together and serve communities; how architecture can transform waste leftover spaces into public space.”
Seventy-one architects were invited to this year’s show, and 63 nations participated, 6 of which (Antigua & Barbuda, Saudi Arabia, Guatemala, Lebanon, Pakistan, and the Holy See) did so for the first time.
The show takes place every other year in the historic Giardini Pavilions and Arsenale in Venice, Italy.