The appointment of the London-based firm, which designed the Diana Memorial in Kensington Gardens, marks the first time in the biennale’s 11-year history that a major landscape installation will be featured.
Neil Porter, director of Gustafson Porter – which has been appointed in Venice alongside its Seattle-based sister company Gustafson Guthrie Nichol – said: ‘Landscape architecture is a greatly neglected subject from a curatorial point of view, so we are hugely excited by the opportunity of engaging with visitors at the biennale.'
The installation, called Towards Paradise, will be sited at the end of the Arsenale, within the overgrown grounds of the former Church of the Virgins, a Benedictine nunnery that was destroyed in the late 1800s.
The garden will have five main spaces, with zones dedicated to ‘reflection, commemoration, conversation, contemplation and enlightenment’.
According to Porter, Towards Paradise will ‘take the visitor on a journey through earthly dilemmas, passing from life to death and towards paradise’.