Alice in Wonderland – Swiss Pavilion – Venice Architecture Biennale 2018

The Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 opened to the public this past weekend and continues until 25 November 2018.

This year’s biennale is directed by the co-founders of Irish practice Grafton Architects, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara. The pair selected the title Freespace as the overarching theme for the event.

The one pavilion that is getting a lot of attention is the Swiss Pavilion. The winner of the 2018 Golden Lion for the best pavilion, entitled House Tour. The concept of going down the rabbit hole, the exhibition invites visitors to explore bland rental homes as if they are Alice in Wonderland by presenting a series of spaces with doors, windows, light switches and counters that are either shrunk or enlarged.

“We want to bring this topic into architectural discourse. It’s just taken as given, and no one really questions why the walls are white, or the light switches are always the same,” co-curator Alessandro Bosshard recently told Dezeen at a preview of the pavilion.

“Everything seems familiar to you but if you continue then you realize it is not what you expect – too small, too big, too perspectival, distorted,” he continued. The intention of the exhibit is to draw to attention to the typically overlooked decor of white walls, plastic window frames and wood floors. And how the standardization of apartment living hasn’t really changed and challenging that us to create more debate about the banal architecture renters are surrounded by in the Western world. It’s all the same – doors, windows, fittings…

If there were to be innovation in housing. Where would you point the discourse towards?

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