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British Council launches hunt for next Venice Biennale pavilion team

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The British Council has launched an open call for exhibition proposals for the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2016

Teams wanting to put together the UK’s exhibition are invited to submit short concept proposals for the show which should ‘contribute an acute observation of contemporary British architecture’.

This year’s biennale, which is being curated by Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, will be about ‘focusing and learning from architectures that through intelligence, intuition, or both of them at the same time, are able to escape the status quo’.

Commissioner of the British Pavilion, Vicky Richardson, said: ‘We see the 2016 British Pavilion as an opportunity to take a good look at British architecture in all its forms, whether built work or critical ideas. 

We welcome bold and imaginative ideas

‘There are many ways to approach this and we welcome bold and imaginative ideas for the format as well as the content of the exhibition.’

Teams, which should include an architect or designer but could also feature researchers, artists, and critics, are asked to submit concept ideas by 11 September.

Three finalists will then be asked to work up a fully-developed exhibition concept by 9 October receiving an honorarium of £750.

The final team will be selected by a panel including director of architecture design fashion at the British Council Vicky Richardson, Bristol Architecture Centre programme manager Rob Gregory, architecture critic Eddie Heathcote, filmmaker Joanna Hogg, Sutherland Hussey Harris’ Charlie Hussey, head of Leeds School of Architecture Teresa Stoppani, and Marie Bak Mortensen, RIBA head of exhibitions.

The winning team will receive £20,000 for its work on the project.

Last year’s exhibition – A Clockwork Jerusalem - was put together by FAT and Crimson Architectural Historians.

According to the British Council more than 134,000 visited the pavilion at last year’s Venice Biennale.

The pavilion, which was one of the final projects by architecture practice FAT, responded to Rem Koolhaas’ theme of Absorbing Modernity by exploring the origins, projects and experience of British modernity.

The Venice Biennale will run from 26 May to 27 November 2016.

More information on how to apply can be found, here.

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