Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale 2016


Spanish Pavilion

The Spanish Pavilion – curated by Iñaqui Carnicero and Carlos Quintáns – won the Golden Lion for national exhibitions. With much economy of means, the curators not only managed to reinforce the general theme of Aravena’s Biennale (with its emphasis on modest projects, its defense of the social dimension of the work of architects, and its inevitable attention to the Latin American world), but also succeeded in putting in a positive message about Spain: that apart from all the contrition surrounding the real estate bubble, Spanish architects have known to adjust to the scale of small works of renovation or consolidation, and with no loss of the quality that in the past had only seemed applicable to large-scale public buildings. This is the conclusion that one gleans when contemplating the Spanish exhibition, a discreet selection of photographs and axonometric drawings that synthetically but very intuitively present fifty low-budget projects in nine categories, offering an informative X-ray of the recent panorama of architecture in Spain, presented in the light of concepts like consolidation, reuse, adaptability, or reappropriation.

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