The Russian Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale has received a special mention in this year’s competition, with organisers praising its excellent use of contemporary language to explain commercial architecture. This year’s pavilion is presented in the form of an international trade fair, with different stands presenting different examples of modern architecture by exhibiting various wares, from million-dollar medical equipment to artworks and airplanes.
Following the theme of this year’s biennale — Fundamentals — the pavilion fuses architectural history with contemporary urban ideas, presenting a non-linear narrative of Russia’s architectural modernisation. Canada and France also received special mentions.
“I am awfully happy to be in the company of Canada and France,” said Varvara Melnikova, general director of Strelka Institute for media, architecture and design, which curated the pavilion. “I’m very honoured.” She added that being chosen out of 65 national pavilions for the special mention was “really cool”.
The biennale’s main prize, the Golden Lion, was awarded to South Korea, whose ambitious pavilion tackled the question of the unification of North and South Korea.