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The 16th Venice Biennale: Architecture in the spotlight 

From 26 May to 25 November 2018, Venice will once again play host to its famous Venice Architecture Biennale. The architecture exhibition takes place every other year, alternating with the biennial “Biennale di Venezia” art exhibition.

Venice Biennale: 65 countries take part

The theme of this year’s Venice Biennale is “Freespace”. Chosen by curators Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara from Irish architecture firm Grafton Architects, the theme of “Freespace” describes a “generosity of spirit and a sense of humanity at the core of architecture's agenda”, and celebrates “architecture’s capacity to find additional and unexpected generosity in each project – even within the most private, defensive, exclusive or commercially restricted conditions”.

The museum of modern art in São Paolo – which was built on a raised site to create a platform for citizens to overlook the city – is showcased as an example of this form of architecture in action. All participants in the Venice Biennale have been invited to create and exhibit their own interpretation of “freespace”.


A total of 65 national pavilions will be erected in the Giardini, the Arsenale and in other locations across the city. The 16th edition of the exhibition will include seven new attendees: Antigua & Barbuda, Saudi Arabia, Guatemala, Lebanon, Mongolia, Pakistan and the Vatican will participate in the event for the first time in 2018.

Meeting Point for pioneering architecture

Architecture is a discipline that demands close collaboration between countless parties and interfaces to bring a project to fruition. In 1998, Gira, FSB and Keuco founded the interdisciplinary communication initiative known as POINTS of contact to act as a source of inspiration and ideas for architects. All three of the founding companies share an affinity for architecture and an interest in premium-quality materials and innovative ideas. The initiative aims to forge links between architecture and related topics and fields. In summer 2012, POINTS of contact hosted its first Meeting Point at the Venice Architecture Biennale.

Venice Biennale
Venice Biennale

Gira’s partnerships with architects are more than just a business opportunity for the company. “Architects are creating the buildings we will inhabit in the future, so it’s important that we work closely together with them. This kind of close working relationship is the only way we as manufacturers can share our ideas with architects – and take inspiration from their valuable ideas and suggestions in return”, explains Kay Berges, Head of Key Account Management at Gira. The company strives to promote concepts that support innovative and sustainable construction, and the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 provides the perfect framework for this endeavour.

A full programme of events – including a spectacular welcome party

The POINTS of contact Meeting Point opened with an exclusive welcome party on 23 May 2018. To mark the 20th anniversary of the founding of the communication initiative, there was also an anniversary party on 26 May. From 24 to 28 May, the historic Palazzo was opened from 9:00 until 22:00. Over the course of four days, visitors can enjoy a comprehensive programme of interesting talks and architectural tours. 

Have you been to the Venice Biennale before? What did you enjoy most about the event? Share your memories in the comments!

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