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Spanish pavilion triumphs at 2016 Venice Biennale

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Spain’s pavilion has won the prestigious top prize at this year’s architecture biennale in Venice 

Spain took home the coveted Golden Lion for its pavilion which focuses on the architecture that has emerged in the country as a result of the financial crisis.

Co-curated by architects Iñaqui Carnicero, founder of Madrid–based Rica Studio and Carlos Quintans, the installation, named Unfinished, looked at buildings across the country which had been abandoned part way through construction and remain incomplete due to the economic situation.

The international jury praised the team for providing a ‘concisely curated selection of emerging architects whose work shows how creativity and commitment can transcend material constraints.’

The Paraguay-based practice Gabinete de Arquitectura was also awarded a Golden Lion for its huge brick arch in the main pavilion.

The judges applauded the scheme for ‘harnessing simple materials, structural ingenuity and unskilled labour to bring architecture to underserved communities’.

Nigerian-born architect Kunlé Adeyemi picked up the Silver Lion for ‘promising young talent’. His Netherlands-based firm NLE has rebuilt its floating timber school in the water by the Arsenale.

Venice Biennale 2016

Venice Biennale 2016

Source: Laura Mark

Kunlé Adeyemi’s floating school

The awards

Golden Lion for Best National Participation Spain for Unfinished

Special mention for National Participation Japan for en : art of nexus and Peru for Our Amazon Frontline

Golden Lion for Best Participation in the Reporting from the Front exhibition Gabinete de Arquitectura

Silver Lion for a Promising Young Participant in the Reporting from the Front exhibition NLE

Special mention for Participation in the Reporting from the Front exhibition Maria Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo 

Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement Paulo Mendes da Rocha

Venice Biennale 2016

Venice Biennale 2016

Source: Laura Mark

Gabinete de Arquitectura’s brick arch

The prizes were awarded at the opening to the Venice Biennale on Saturday (28 May).

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