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Koolhaas: next Venice Biennale about 'architecture not architects'

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OMA-founder Rem Koolhaas has unveiled the theme for the next Venice Architecture Biennale in 2014 - ‘Fundamentals

The 68-year-old Dutch architect, who is curating next year’s festival, said: ‘Fundamentals will be a Biennale about architecture, not architects.

‘After several Biennales dedicated to the celebration of the contemporary, Fundamentals will focus on histories – on the inevitable elements of all architecture used by any architect, anywhere, anytime (the door, the floor, the ceiling etc.) and on the evolution of national architectures in the last 100 years.

He added: ‘This retrospective will generate a fresh understanding of the richness of architecture’s fundamental repertoire, apparently so exhausted today.’

Koolhaas superseded previous biennale figurehead David Chipperfield who curated last year’s global architecture festival - the 13th in its history.

President Paolo Baratta explained the evolution of the Architecture Biennale and consequently the choice of Rem Koolhaas: ‘We are universally recognised in the world for Architecture; we are the place where Architecture talks about itself and meets life and society at large.’


‘For this reason over the past few years our choices of curators and themes have been based on the awareness of the gap between the “spectacularization” of architecture on the one hand, and the waning capacity of society to express its demands and its needs on the other hand.

‘The architects are called upon prevalently to create awe-inspiring buildings and the “ordinary” is going astray, towards banality if not squalor: a modernity lived bad.

At the culmination of this process we have asked Rem Koolhaas to engage himself in an original research project.’

In a change to tradition, Koolhaas’ beinnale will start on 7 June instead of at the end of August, making the event run at least 12 weeks longer.


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