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la Biennale di Venezia
Main Visual Entry Page Architettura EN (new)


5th International Architecture Exhibition

Director: Francesco DAL CO
8th September – 6th October 1991
Site: Padiglione Italia, National Pavilions at Giardini, Corderie dell’Arsenale
Director appointed by President Paolo Portoghesi
Francesco Dal Co is appointed director of the Architecture Section in 1988 by the Administration Board presided by Paolo Portoghesi, in his second four-year mandate. The fifth International Architecture Exhibition takes place in 1991, resuming in its different sections the work and the activities promoted by Dal Co in the previous years. A staunch proponent of the necessity of developing the Biennale’s internationality, Dal Co introduces various novelties, modeling this edition to the style of the Art Exhibition, and inviting National Pavilions to participate in this. Among the most important suggestions present is the Austrian selection –showing works by Coop Himmelb(l)au, United States with Peter Eisenman and Frank O. Gehry, Switzerland with a Herzog & de Meuron retrospect and Norway with Sverre Fehn.

In the Padiglione Italia, Dal Co shows a selection of forty Italian architects for the 90’s, among whom we can find Gae Aulenti, Massimiliano Fuksas, Aldo Aymonino, Giancarlo De Carlo, Renzo Piano, Luciano Semerani and Ettore Sottsass. Two other events mark the importance of the fifth Biennale: the building of the the Book Pavilion, designed by James Stirling, in the main entrance street to the Giardini, and the exhibition of 43 architecture schools from all over the world at the Corderie dell’Arsenale.

In this 5th Architecture Exhibition, Dal Co also stresses the importance of a confrontation between the Biennale and the Venetian territory, as the three different contest proclaimed under his direction from 1988 on testify; the themes on which they were centered were the restoration of the Padiglione Italia (contest won by Francesco Cellini), the restoration of the Palazzo del Cinema at the Lido (won by Rafael Moneo) and the requalification of Piazzale Roma.

In spite of the Biennale’s good omens, none of the winning project was ever realized, unlike Stirling’s Bokk Pavilion, which is still considered one of the most successful and long lasting results of that edition. The Aliante installation by Massimo Scolari, allocated on the Fondamenta della Tana at the time, as an external sign for the schools of architecture exhibition, will be long-lived, as it is still displayed outside the IUAV buildings in Santa Marta, Venice.

Winner of the International contest for the new Palazzo del Cinema 1990
: Rafael Moneo
Winner of the International contest “Una Porta per Venezia” for the restoration of Piazzale Roma: Jeremy Dixon and Edward Jones