David Chipperfield chosen to curate Venice Architecture Biennale

  • 13 years ago
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David Chipperfield has been chosen to curate the Venice
Biennale in 2012.

The British architect, who recently spoke to Yale design
students about the challenges of working in architecture in modern society, has
been picked to oversee the 2012 Biennale, the world’s largest architecture

His appointment, although not yet officially announced, was reported
by the
and Building Design this month, and will see him challenged with
conceiving two separate themed shows. The architect, “renowned for his cool, clear
almost chaste design”, will have only eight months to design a theme for shows
in both the Arsenale and Giardini.

Chipperfied rises to the challenge

Chipperfield has received much acclaim throughout his
career, particularly his recent gallery building for Turner Contemporary, which
offers impressive views for visitors and artists’ work overlooking the North
Kent coast.

describes the work as a “welcoming, accessible and spacious building, both
functional and efficient for a small arts organisation to run and a building
that our visitors and our artists will enjoy being in.”

The dean of architecture at the RCA, Alex de Rijke, told
Building Design: “Someone of his intellectual calibre will rise to the
challenge. He’s not going to use it as an opportunity to promote his own
architecture. He is going to frame an issue, treat it as research and ask
people to contribute.”

A respectable candidate

Chipperfield’s appointment is being seen as respectable
compared to the original contender for the Biennale director’s post, Giulio
Malgara, a friend of Silvio Berlusconi. Chipperfield was reportedly reluctant
to accept his position because of Malgara’s consideration for the role.

Malgara was announced as the director of the event in October and would have
replaced his predecessor Paolo Baratta, but Berlusconi’s resignation as Italy’s
prime minister has seen Malgara’s esteem fall.

Now, the British architect is widely heralded as a smart
choice. He will curate the exhibition in its 13th year, following an
increase in visitors of 31 per cent in November this year. Over 170,000 people
are expected to attend the festival between August and November in 2012.

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