Ecology as focus for Australian Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale

Aug 24, 2017
  • Article by Online Editor

Baracco+Wright Architects’ and Linda Tegg have been announced as the 2018 creative directors for the Australian Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Biennale in Venice with their winning proposal repair. The concept brings together a transdisciplinary team of architects, artists, landscape architects and ecologists as a response to the need for architecture to encourage new ways of thinking. It also aims to showcase Australian architecture that engages with the repair of our natural environment.

The proposed design will see a native Australian grassland grown in the Australian Pavilion for the Biennale event. Thousands of temperate grassland species will be placed and cultivated within the pavilion alongside large-scale architectural projections. The proposal aims to make visitors consider the dialogue between architecture and the endangered plant community; a reminder of what is at stake when we occupy land.

When talking about the winning proposal, Jill Garner, Chair of the Venice Biennale Committee, expressed that it is “an approach to architectural thinking, which is set to become a critical strategy of architectural culture.”

The 2018 creative team (L-R), artist Linda Tegg with Mauro Baracco and Louise Wright of Baracco+Wright Architects. Photo by Sharyn Cairns.
The 2018 creative team (L-R), artist Linda Tegg with Mauro Baracco and Louise Wright of Baracco+Wright Architects. Photo by Sharyn Cairns.

Louise Wright, one-half of Baracco+Wright explains that, “We want to provoke and stimulate this discussion and position Australian architects at the cusp of international architectural consciousness around issues of repair.”

As a first for the Australian Pavilion, repair is a direct response to the overall curator’s theme, ‘Freespace’. Traditionally, the Biennale Architettura curators have announced the theme too close to the event for Australian architects to respond with enough time to ship the exhibition. However, repair explicitly responds to Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara’s (Grafton Architects) theme by ‘inventing solutions where architecture provides for the wellbeing and dignity of each citizen on this fragile planet.’

Other collaborators involved in the project will be artist Linda Tegg, architect Paul Memmott, landscape architect Chris Sawyer, landscape architect and urban designer Tim O’Loan and curatorial advisor Catherine Murphy to inform, refine and complement their skills.

The creative directors will call upon Australian architects, urban designers and landscape architects to submit designs that have been conceived in relationship with their ecosystem to affect repair, be it civic, social, cultural, economic or environmental. From these, a selection that displays a range of approaches, scales and geographic locations will be selected for exhibition.

The 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia will run from 26 May to 25 November 2018 in Venice. For more information on Australia’s participation in the 2018 Venice Biennale visit

Lead image by Sharyn Cairns.

Read an interview with the 2016 creative directors of the Australian Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale.

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