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Scotland launches hunt for 2016 Venice Biennale team

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The search has begun for a team to deliver Scotland’s showpiece at next year’s Venice Biennale – the first time since 2008 that the country will have been represented formally

A tender has been launched by the Scotland + Venice partners - the Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, British Council Scotland and Architecture and Design Scotland.

The successful team – which could include architects and design firms - will develop a ‘curatorial and design proposal’ and be responsible for delivering the project.

A statement on behalf of the partners said: ‘This is an exciting opportunity for architects and teams from Scotland to engage with one of the most prestigious international showcases for architecture in the world.’

The biennale will run from 26 May to 27 November, and Scotland’s contribution will run for a month at the beginning of the event.

Next year’s Venice Biennale will celebrate architectural projects which overcome a lack of resources to improve lives, according to curator Alejandro Aravena.

Key objectives for the Scottish project will be to reflect the contribution of architecture to improving quality of life, showcasing projects that engage with people and support communities

It will also aim to increase domestic and international interest in and awareness of Scotland’s 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and Festival of Architecture.

The venue for Scotland’s project will be the Ludoteca Santa Maria Ausiliatrice, a former convent now used as a community centre. 

Submissions should be submitted by 20 October and deliverable within an indicative budget of £62,000 including VAT.

At the last three events in the Italian city, Scotland exhibited ‘alongside’ the main biennale events. However this year the country’s installation is classed as a ‘collateral project’ giving easier access to marketing and promotional opportunities.

In 2014, Reiach and Hall directed four teams presenting examples of Scottish modernist architecture, each from a different geographical area of the country (pictured). Each group held a week-long residency at the British Pavilion during October 2014.

Two years earlier, Glaswegian outfits Do Architecture, GRAS design studio, Stone Opera and Pidgin Perfect presented Banchetto: A Play in Three Acts which included a tour of the Biennale Giardini site for local residents, a theatrical open air dinner and an exposition documenting the week’s events.

In 2010, public arts organisation NVA curated a series of public events responding to the themes of restoration and reuse of built heritage.

The 2008 event saw Scotland’s first purpose-built exhibition space for the Biennale, constructed out of larch next to a new bridge by Santiago Calatrava.

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