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Venice Biennale of Architecture


La Biennale di Venezia International Architecture Exhibition is one of the world’s most important architecture events, visited by over 100.000 people during the months it is open for public. Taking part in the Biennale provides Estonia and our architects with an unique opportunity to introduce our architectural thinking and current topics relevant in Estonia on an international level. La Biennale addresses the academic and theoretical side of architecture, while also providing a meeting place for the industry's most renowned architects and designers, a place where people come to present the most exciting developments in each country's architectural thinking.

Mostra di Architettura di Venezia, the Architecture section of the Venice Biennale, was established in 1980. Earlier, architecture exhibitions used to take place under the umbrella of the contemporary art biennale. Estonian architects have participated in the Biennale since 2000, the exihibitions have been produced by both the Union of Estonian Architects and Estonian Centre of Architecture, with support from Estonian Ministry of Culture as well as Estonian Cultural Endowment.

La Biennale di Venezia architecture programme consists of a number of showcases, exhibitions and events, with the main exhibition curated by the head curator of the biennale at the helm. Themed exhibitions as well as national pavilions add diversity to the programme.

The next La Biennale di Venezia International Architecture Exhibition will take place from May 28th to November 27th 2016.

International Curator Competition for the Estonian exhibition at the 2016 La Biennale di Venezia Architecture Exhibition

The Curator Competition to find the project to represent Estonia at the next international architecture exhibition in Venice in 2016, is now closed. The first stage of the two-stage public international competition closed on 31st August 2015, bringing 22 proposals.

As announced on 22nd September, three proposals moved onto the second stage, with 19 October as deadline for more detailed and budgeted project proposals. The jury of the competition met on 22 October, selecting proposal "Baltic Atlas" as the winner to represent Estonia in Venice in 2016.

Both the competition and the Estonian exhibition at the 15th Biennale di Venezia Architecture Exhibition are organised by the Estonian Centre of Architecture in co-operation with the Union of Estonian Architects and with support from Estonian Ministry of Culture and and Estonian Cultural Endowment.

More info

Triin Männik
Press Relations for the Estonian Exposition
+372 56201104

Questions and answers (last updated 19.07.2015):

Q: According to the terms and conditions, the first stage is anonymous. At the same time requirements to the submission e-mail read that it shall include a letter of confirmation digitally signed by the authors. How will the entry remain anonymous, then?
A: The letter of the confirmation, signed by the authors is not going to be forwarded to the jury as part of the entry materials for evaluation. Thus, the letter of confirmation will not reveal the authors to the jury and therefore does not contradict the anonymity requirement.

Q: Certificate for digital signature: should it be issued by an official state authority or can it be just my private certificate?
A: It can be either of those options: if the authors are from Estonia, they can use the Estonian digital signature system. If the authors are from elsewhere, they can sign the letter, scan it and attach it to the submission email.

Q: How should the concept description be sent? Should it be written just in the body of the letter or be attached as a separate document? Are there any requirements for it's formatting?
A: The concept description should be attached as a separate document. There are no requirements for formatting.

Q: Should I attach visualization images as separate files or embed them directly in the description?
A: Visualizations could be embedded directly in the description, or images could also be attached as separate files – in the latter case, please refer to the images (file names) appropriately in the concept description. For large files You can share them via a Dropbox link, use WeTransfer or any other similar service.

Q: If I have several possible design concepts, how should they be submitted? Should it be one entry, or separate descriptions in one letter, or several letters?
A: In case you have several possible design concepts, they should be sent as separate descriptions, accompanied by other requested documentation, in separate letters.

Q: What is the code word? Is it a kind of anonymous identifier for an entry?
A: The code word is indeed an anonymous identifier for an entry.

Q: Is it possible to get some plan of Estonian exhibition place?
A: We have not fixed a space yet within the exhibition space in Venice.

Q: Will the jury review the proposals in printed format or in digital format? And what’s the size if they are printed?
A: The proposals will be reviewed in both printed (usually A4 or A3 format) and digital versions.

Q: Is it possible to have a creative medium of visualisation? Such as Interactive PDF or video.
A: Additional materials can be added.

Links that might give some cultural background about Estonia:

Estonian architecture at the La Biennale di Venezia

The 14th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia was curated by Rem Koolhaas and titled Fundamentals; Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014 was proposed for the contribution of all the national and other pavilions.

Estonian National Exhibition at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition was curated by architects Johanna Jõekalda, Johan Tali ja Siim Tuksam and titled Interspace, focussing on public space as enivironment where offcial ideology and its personal interpretations mix and mingle.

Interspace was produced by Estonian Centre of Architecture and organised with generous support from Gold Sponsor Metro Capital, Main Partners Ruukki Products, Eventus Ehitus and KSA Vision Clinic; Partners Sadolin, Elmaks Hulgikaubandus, Estonian Museum of Architecture, Reinis Adovicš (WARP), Lugemik, Makerlab and Silman Elekter, 206 kickstarters from and dozens of volunteers. The Estonian pavilion at the 14th La Biennale di Venezia International Architecture Exhibition was funded by Estonian Ministry of Culture, Estonian Cultural Endowment, and European Regional Development Fund.

Website of the exposition:
Facebookpage of the exposition:

Photo gallery:


The 13th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia was led by architect David Chipperfield under theme Common Ground.

Estonian National Exhibition explored the topic of How Long is the Life of a Building? on the example of one of Estonia’s Modernist heritage gems, Tallinn City Culture Hall (Linnahall). The exhibition was curated by Tüüne-Kristin Vaikla, Urmo Vaikla, Ingel Vaikla, Veronika Valk, Maria Pukk and Ivar Lubjak.

Facebook page of the project:

Photo gallery (Ingel Vaikla):


The 12th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia, with Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima at the helm, explored the topic of People meet in architecture.

Estonian National Exhibition HOUSES (30MB PDF) introduced one hundred private houses by Estonian architects, using a large-scale model and video. The argument of the curators was that one of the most notable features of Estonian private home architecture, when compared to the rest of Europe, is the widespread preference of unique projects. The project was led by architect Kalle Vellevoog, interior architect Tiiu Truus, graphic designer Martin Pedanik and architecture historian Karen Jagodin.

More about the project:

Photo gallery:

The 11th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia director Aaron Betsky phrased the theme for the international event Out There. Architecture Beyond Building, focussing on sitespecific installation and manifestos, environmental and landscape architecture.

Estonia was represented at La Biennale by an environmental and geopolitical installation Gas Pipe by architects Maarja Kask and Ralf Lõoke from Salto Architects as well as sculptor Neeme Külm and architecture historian Ingrid Ruudi.

Website of the exposition:

Photo gallery:


The 10th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia, led by Richard Burdett was titled Cities. Architecture and society, exploring such 21st centory urban studies issues as social dynamics and the infrastructure of cities. More specifically, much attention was paid to the role of architects when it comes to designing democratic and sustainable urban landscapes, as well as their links to policies of intervention, government statements and social cohesion.

Estonian exhibition Joint Space was created in cooperation with the Tartu University Institute of Geography, the Architectural Design Office Urban Mark and the ICT research company Positium. Joint Space demonstrated the possibilities of using mobile positioning in urban space. The team of the project included Ülar Mark, Indrek Tiigi, Kaja Pae, Yoko Alender, Raul Kalvo, Rein Ahas, Anto Aasa, Siiri Silm, Margus Tiru and Erki Saluveer.


The 9th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia was titled METAMORPH and led by Kurt W. Forster. Estonia selected a project titled Time Out architecture to represent the country in Venice. Interior designer Kristjan Holm came up with the idea while reading journalist Madis Jürgen’s book on Estonian outhouse architecture and culture. Exhibition team included Kristjan Holm, Madis Jürgen, architect Agu Külm, sculptor Jukka-Pekka Jalovaara and art historians Pille Epner and Liina Jänes.

More about the project: Estonian Institute - If you don't have much to say, sing it

Photo gallery (Kristjan Holm):


The 7th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia centered on research, titled Less Aesthetics, More Ethics. Director Massimiliano Fuksas abandoned the usual set up of the previous Biennales, with an exhibition no longer based on the idea of architecture as buildings, but developing a 360° perspective on contemporary city.

Estonia, participating in the Biennale for the first time, contibuted to the event with project titled Simulacrum City by art critic and curator Anders Härm and architect Tarmo Maiste. Pavillion soundtrack Taavi Laatsit, movie by Jaak Kilmi ja Andres Maimik. Catalogue design Jaanus Tamme.

Photo gallery (Arne Maasik):