La Biennale 2018 Main Exhibition Freespace by Grafton Architects Explores Spatial Generosity


This year’s 2018 La Biennale for Architecture in Venice was organized by the curators Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Ireland based architecture practice Grafton with the theme of Freespace. For the curators the idea of Freespace describes “a generosity of spirit and a sense of humanity at the core of architecture’s agenda”. Grafton’s own work emphasizes generosity in architecture with a focus on flows and movement, of people, air, light and atmosphere. To this end the design of the Freespace exhibition in the Arsenale Corderie and the Central Pavillion at Giardini entailed the opening of the spatial possibilities of these two buildings, revealing their spatial and structural features as an example of Grafton’s architecture.

The architects selected by the curators for the Freespace exhibition explored this idea of space and possibility with installations and examples of previous works. The GAD Foundation focused on three architects that showed the idea of Freespace in interesting cultural contexts. London based Philip Gumusdjian’s Tread Lightly exhibited a series of designs for sustainable tourism in Armenia, Amra Matin of Jakarta designed an installation that shows models of vernacular Indonesian architecture in a space made of Indonesian wood and rattan and a large model of a Tokyo kindergarten building by Tezuka Architects that lets children run free on the roof.