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Biennale Architecture 2016 has come to an end

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The Exhibition registered 260,000 visitors
11 | 27 | 2016

The visitors under 26 years of age were 45% of the total

The 15th International Architecture Exhibition – ‘Reporting From the Front’– organized by La Biennale di Venezia chaired by Paolo Baratta and curated by Alejandro Aravena, has closed today, November 27th 2016. Baratta and Aravena have met the participants, curators of National Pavilions and the world of architecture who flocked to the Exhibition over the closing weekend.
 
The Exhibition, which lasted 6 months, has closed today and registered 260,000 visitors (exact figure: 259,725), on top of the 14,180 visitors of the preview days. These figures mark an increase of 14% and 16% respectively when compared to the 228,000 visitors and 12,214 preview attendants of 2014.
 
HIGH NUMBER OF YOUNG VISITORS AND STUDENTS
The visitors under 26 years of age were 45% of the total.
The students who visited the Exhibition as a group amounted to 26% of the total number of visitors.
 
PRESIDENT PAOLO BARATTA’S STATEMENT
“We took up the challenge of investing in Biennale Architettura, also by extending the opening period to 6 months, which is in itself an extraordinary fact. We are very grateful to the participating Countries for their support to this extension. We are happy with the results, both in terms of the high number of visitors and the high level of discourse, research and international dialogue within the Exhibition.
There is widespread consensus that Biennale Architettura has become the most significant point of reference for the world of architecture.
Aravena’s Exhibition will be remembered: it offered many inspiring moments to reflect upon the possibility for the civil society to better organise the spaces where people live, whether in the heart of cities or their margins.
We wish to  show our deepest gratitude to him, his collaborators and everyone at La Biennale.”
 
CURATOR ALEJANDRO ARAVENA’S STATEMENT
“La Biennale has shown courage in accepting our proposals and giving us the freedom to express our vision and fully accomplish our Exhibition project.
When I saw the amount of material coming in from all participants during the setting up of the Exhibition, I realised that the Exhibition was not just a way to share knowledge: we were creating an experience. Learning happens first of all through emotions, and this is exactly what an Architecture Exhibition can offer: emotions that generate and spread knowledge.  
Our role as architects is to identify the forces at play in order to build a better-quality environment. This Exhibition has been often labeled as the ‘Biennale of the poor’ or the ‘social Biennale’. However, we did not want to be politically correct. We wanted to show that the role of architecture is to identify the right questions and give practical answers. I hope this Biennale Architettura gave all architects new tools to improve people’s quality of life.”
 
Besides National Participations and Collateral Events, special initiatives took place over the course of the Exhibition. The Urban Age Conference, which is usually held in cities around the world, accepted our invitation to be hosted in Venice on July 14th and 15th. For the occasion, the London School of Economics and Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft organised a Pavilion at the Sale d’Armi in the Arsenale, Report from Cities: Conflicts of an Urban Age (curated by Ricky Burdett), in view of the Habitat III - United Nations world conference, held in Quito, Ecuador (17-20 October 2016).
 
This year also saw the addition of the Applied Arts Pavilion, in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, with an exhibition titled A World of Fragile Parts (curated by Brendan Cormier), and the Special ProjectReporting from Marghera and Other Waterfronts (curated by Stefano Recalcati), on display at the Forte Marghera Pavilion (Mestre, Venice).
 
The Exhibition comprised a series of Meetings on Architecture, a programme of events on the themes and case studies on display at the Exhibition. These took place through the opening period and involved the architects and participants in the International Exhibition, and were organised with the support of Rolex.
 
La Biennale di Venezia and Google renewed their collaboration for the second year to make the 15th International Exhibition curated by Alejandro Aravena fully available on Google Arts and Culture, along with a selection of National Participations and Collateral Events. The Exhibition will still be “open” to visitors on
g.co/biennalearchitettura2016
and also at www.labiennale.org/en/architecture/online-2016exhibition  
 
The Exhibition also attracted the interest of several celebrities from the world of film who visited it over the six-month opening: Natalie Portman, Sonia Bergamasco, Deborah and John Landis, Gemma Arterton, Nina Hoss, Chiara Mastroianni, Zhao Wei, Sam Mendes, Giancarlo De Cataldo, Pablo Larraín, Joshua Oppenheimer, Lorenzo Vigas, Jovanotti.
 
The 15th Exhibition opened on May 28th with a ceremony held at the Sala delle Colonne in Ca’ Giustinian, headquarters of La Biennale, in the presence of Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. The Exhibition was also toured by the Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism Dario Franceschini on May 27th, as well as other Ministers and Ambassadors from all over the world.
 
BIENNALE SESSIONS
The project Biennale Sessions, which is dedicated to Universities and Academies of Fine Arts, research and educational institutions in architecture, visual arts and related fields, facilitated the visit of the Exhibition for the sixth consecutive year for groups of students and teachers. The participation of foreign universities increased of 3% compared to 2014.
 
140 Universities joined the project this year (+17% compared to 2014) with
60 Italian Universities
80 Foreign Universities from all continents, in particular 10 from Germany, 6 from the UK, 6 from Spain, 5 from Austria and 5 from Switzerland.
 
6.615 university students from all over the world visited Biennale Architettura 2016 as part of their educational curriculum and considered the Biennale as a place for study and research.

EDUCATIONAL
43,950 (2,197 groups) is the total number of participants in the educational activities and in the guided tours, with a 15% increase over 2014.
In particular:
30,376 (+12% compared to 2014) young people and students participated in the educational activities, including 1,519 groups.
13,574 (+21% over 2014) is the number of adults and visitors who participated in the guided group tours.
31 educational specialists from La Biennale accompanied the visitors around the two Exhibition venues.
 
COMMUNICATION 
Media
4,035 journalists visited the Exhibition, including 2,410 from the foreign press and 1,625 from the Italian press
The press coverage to date
- 3,045 articles in print and on the major websites
89 television stations accredited, including 73 foreign stations and 16 Italian stations.
 
Web
1,164,837 unique visitors on the institutional website and 6,824,154 page views of www.labiennale.org over the duration of the Exhibition from May 28th to November 27th.
 
SOCIAL MEDIA
Facebook
· Total fans of the official page: 283,968 + 16,102 since the beginning of Biennale Architettura 2016 (+10% compared to 2015)
· Over 260 posts on the official page with hashtag #BiennaleArchitettura2016 and #ReportingFromTheFront.
· 10 most popular posts reached more than 226,000 views (70,000 in 2014), generating around 3,000 reactions, comments, shares (919 in 2014) (ca. +220%        for both parameters compared to Biennale Architettura 2014)
 
Twitter
· Total fans of the page: 621,000 + 42,200 since the beginning of Biennale Architettura 2016 (+37% compared to 2015).
· Since the beginning of Biennale Architettura 2016 more than 1,800 tweets (827 in 2015 + 117% compared to 2015). It is not possible to compare the data to   2014, because the page has been online since September 2014.
 
Instagram
· 96,800 total fans of the page
· Since the beginning of Biennale Architettura 2016 more than 130 posts with hashtag #BiennaleArchitettura2016 and #ReportingFromTheFront.
· 5 most popular posts reached over 13,000 likes.
· Total amount of posts generated with the official hashtags #BiennaleArchitettura2016 and #ReportingFromTheFront are 50,507
 
 
THE EXHIBITION IN NUMBERS
65 National Participations
30 National Participations in the historic pavilions at Giardini
20 National Participations at the Arsenale (Italian Pavilion included)
15 National Participations around Venice’s city centre
  5 Countries participating for the first time: Philippines, Lithuania, Nigeria, Seychelles and Yemen.
  3 Special Projects
  6 Meetings on Architecture at Teatro alle Tese - Arsenale
20 Collateral Events
 
 Comments by the press:
 
“Tra il padiglione Italia ai Giardini e le Corderie sono 88 i protagonisti chiamati a dare forma concreta alla chiamata alle armi di Aravena per un’architettura resistente, etica senza essere inutilmente moralistica, in ascolto dei desideri espressi da un mondo in difficoltà ma non per questo meno attenta ai contenuti di bellezza e qualità di cui abbiamo grande bisogno.”Luca Molinari, La Stampa
 
“What shines through is a dazzling range of ingenious responses to situations of scarcity and insecurity, along with a good number of beautiful things that have no worthy pretensions at all.” Oliver Wainwright, The Guardian
 
“The 48-year-old Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena calls his dense, earnest and grassroots edition of the Venice Architecture Biennale (…) “Reporting From the Front.” The show collects work from a range of architects operating on the forward lines of what Aravena calls “battles” against inequality, crushing poverty and environmental crisis and puts it on display with the informality of a journalistic sketch.” Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times
 
“La Biennale d’architecture de Venise reste, dans son domaine, l’événement international le plus important (…) on la retrouve tous les deux ans plus ambitieuse, plus vaste, plus développée aussi bien dans ses sites d’origine – les Giardini et l’Arsenale – que dans une multitude de monuments, de palais, d’églises désaffectées, de galeries, de magasins de l’ancienne Sérénissime…” Frédéric Edelmann, Le Monde
 
The 15th Exhibition was organised with the support of Rolex, Partner and Official Watch for the event, Artemide, JTI (Japan Tobacco International), Vela-Venezia Unica, Laminam and Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane.
We would also like to thank Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.
Finally, thanks to Garage San Marco.
 
After last year’s positive experience, La Biennale has once again offered with the support of JTI (Japan Tobacco International) the project “accessibility” dedicated to the users and operators of Support Centres and Therapeutic Communities especially from Northern Italy (mental and/or psycho-physical disability, homeless people, people suffering from addictions, migrants, deaf people), who usually do not have the possibility to access and be involved in the activities of exhibitions and cultural events. The project offered a series of activities free of charge – prep meetings, guided tours and workshops – conducted by operators trained by La Biennale di Venezia and in agreement with the involved centres and communities. Over all, the project involved 1,233 users from 49 structures. 70 activities have been organised, including guided tours and educational workshops.
 
We wish to thank the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, the local institutions that each in their own way support La Biennale, the City of Venice, the Regione del Veneto.
Our thanks go to our Donors, who are essential to the creation of the 15th Exhibition.
We especially wish to thank Alejandro Aravena and his team.
And finally we would like to thank the highly professional staff of La Biennale, who work with such great dedication on the organisation and management of the Exhibition throughout its six-and-a-half month duration.
 
The videos of all the events of the Exhibition and the interviews with all participants can be found in the website www.labiennale.org and at the following link:
http://www.labiennale.org/en/mediacenter/architecture

Official website of the Biennale Architettura 2016: www.labiennale.org
Official hashtag: #BiennaleArchitettura2016