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FAT team bags Venice 2014 Biennale jackpot

The British Council has chosen a team led by FAT Architecture to design the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2014

Working with Crimson Architectural Historians and writer Owen Hatherley, the collaboration’s ‘challenging and poetic’ A Clockwork Jerusalem project was chosen ahead of a bid by architects David Knight and Finn Williams together with Guardian writer Oliver Wainwright.

The victorious proposal was chosen ahead of 47 other submissions and will become the flagship for Britain at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia which runs from 7 June to 23 November 2014.

Overseen by director Rem Koolhaas, the Biennale has a working title of Fundamentals and the Dutch starchitect has called on national pavilions to respond to the theme Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014.

Vicky Richardson, director of architecture, design, fashion at the+ British Council, said: ‘We look forward to working with FAT, Crimson and Owen Hatherley on ‘A Clockwork Jerusalem’.

‘The selection committee felt their approach was both challenging and poetic, and that their work will make an important contribution to understanding modernity in British architecture.’

British Pavilion Selection Committee

David Bickle, Partner, Hawkins\Brown
Adrian Forty, Professor of Architectural History, the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
Edwin Heathcote, Architecture and Design Critic for the Financial Times
Philip Long, Director, V&A at Dundee
Irena Murray, Architectural Historian and Senior Research Fellow, Royal Institute of British Architects
Jane and Louise Wilson, artists                                                                    
Chair: Vicky Richardson, Director of Architecture, Design, Fashion, British Council

Previous story (AJ 17.07.2013)

Two teams in 2014 Venice Biennale faceoff

The British Council has narrowed the 48 submissions competing to design the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2014 to just two teams

Architects David Knight and Finn Williams together with Guardian writer Oliver Wainwright comprise the first team, while the second team includes FAT Architecture, Crimson and writer Owen Hatherley.

After eliminating the other submissions, members of the selection committee decided that they wanted to see the two shortlisted proposals developed further before they decide the winner.

Both teams will now be given £750 each to develop their ideas before the selection committee reconvenes to decide the winner, which is expected to take place in August.

Vicky Richardson, director of architecture, design and fashion at the British Council and chair of the selection committee, said: ‘We were very pleased with the level of interest from all areas of the profession and to receive 48 submissions.’

‘Because the commissioning process for this Biennale started much earlier than usual, the committee decided that the additional time could be used most productively by giving two of teams the chance to develop their ideas and allowing the committee further opportunity to explore them. We expect to make an announcement about the curatorial team next month.’

The other members of the selection Committee include David Bickle, partner, Hawkins/Brown; Adrian Forty, Professor of Architectural History, Bartlett School of Architecture; Edwin Heathcote, architecture and design critic, Financial Times; Philip Long, director, V&A at Dundee; Irena Murray, architectural historian and senior research fellow, Royal Institute of British Architects; and artists Jane and Louise Wilson.

The Venice Biennale will take place from 7 June to 23 November 2014, under the title ‘Fundamentals’. Rem Koolhaas, director of the architecture exhibition has asked national pavilions to be informed by the theme ‘Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014’.

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