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Venice preview: Introduction

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Emily Booth previews Common Ground, the 13th International Architecture Exhibition

The emphasis of the 2012 Venice Biennale is on what we have in common,’ David Chipperfield, director of the 13th International Architecture Exhibition has stated. ‘Above all, the ambition of Common Ground is to reassert the existence of an architectural culture, made up not just of singular talents but a rich continuity of diverse ideas united in a common history, common ambitions, common predicaments and ideals.’

It’s an impressive aim: one that emphasises dialogue and isn’t afraid to celebrate a rich culture of difference. With contributions ranging from Peter Märkli to Zaha Hadid, and including O’Donnell + Tuomey, Foster, Herzog & de Meuron, Caruso St John, FAT, Farshid Moussavi, SANAA, Renzo Piano, Haworth Tompkins, Eric Parry, Lynch Architects, Peter Zumthor, Grafton, Valerio Olgiati and Gort Scott, the exhibition promises to be a vibrant display by agenda-setting architects, photographers, artists and critics.

The show is complemented by 55 national participations in the pavilions in the Giardini, Arsenale and the city of Venice. Four nations will be participating for the first time - Angola, the Republic of Kosovo, Kuwait and Peru.

This Venice Biennale 2012 preview celebrates a selection of British and Irish contributors with an in-depth look at the British and Irish Pavilions.

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