Made in Athens in the13th International Architectural Exhibition


The 13th Venice Architecture Biennale opened to the public Aug 29th, which will run until Nov 25th. The exhibition is one of the most influential international architectural exhibitions, which takes place every other year.  Under this year’s theme,  “Common ground,” 69 projects made by architects, critiques and scholars were spread in the Central Pavilion at the Giardini in Italy.

Among those displayed in each nation’s pavilion, “Made in Athens” in Greek pavilion draws attention with a reflection of the nation’s contemporary social, economic status.

Greek pavilion’s official press release described contemporary Athens as a city of two contradictions; “a city whose particular identity was shaped during post- World-War-II reconstruction, and a city tha

t was most stricken by the current economic crisis.”

Then it says these contradictions are shaping a particular dynamic in the city, creating conditions in Athens to “expand the links between architecture and the city, both during the economic downturn, but also after it has passed.”

ArchDaily critiqued that “the Greek pavilion aims highlight these positive forces emerging during his crucial present moment in an effort to foreshadow a better future for the city and its architecture.”

Another architectural review from said “’Common Ground’ at the Greek Pavilion not only is successfully expressed, but is the main protagonist as the pavilion’s visitor is invited to take ‘a walk into the city’, a metaphoric parameter that the curators cleverly integrated in its design.”

How familiar are you with a role of architecture in a society? The Roman architect Vitruvius in the early 1st century AD emphasized three aspects of it: Durability, utility and beauty, which means it should remain in good condition, function well and raise people’s spirits.

In this sense, Greek Pavilion in the exhibition delineated well the situation of the city of Athens, and presented the city identity and foreshadowed the new living and urban behavior in Athenian “Common ground.”