Venice biennale explores UK housing

An exhibition exploring the UK’s housing crisis and a garden submerged in a lagoon will be among the highlights of this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale, opening this weekend.

Design Museum director Deyan Sudjic is among those presiding over this year’s advisory panel for the British pavilion.

The pavilion, curated by architecture critic Ellis Woodman, will examine how five contemporary practices are addressing the question of housing, decades after the UK’s post-war housing reconstruction came to an end.

Home/Away: Five British Architects Build Housing in Europe explores the roots of the British obsession with home ownership and the effect of the long-term domination of private-sector housing developers.

Arup Associates will also unveil its Unified Design Unit at the event. With a ‘quest for humanism in architecture’, it aims to tackle the concept of image over substance, by bringing together architects, engineers, artists and social scientists.

Elsewhere in the Venice biennale exhibition, Italian architects A12 are building a garden, Deep Garden, sunken into the waters of the Venice Lagoon, accessed via a pier and covered with a reflective outer surface.

Open to the public from 13-23 September, the gardens will be set in the Viale dei Giardini Pubblici, close to the biennale site.

Australia will showcase 180 architectural practices through a garden of artefacts named Abundance.

The models, ranging from abstract forms to architectural fragments, will give a snapshot of contemporary Australian architecture and thinking.

The eleventh International Architectural Exhibition, Out There: Architecture Beyond Building, curated by Aaron Betsky, will take place in Venice from 14 September to 23 November.

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