Greek Pavilion
Venice Biennale, 1991

     The art pavilions for the Venice Biennale express a festive presence-a panegyric iconography They are intended to be both joyful and purposeful. After all, Venice is a city of both fantasy and reality. Adopting forms that evoke the memory of Greco-Venetian culture, they attempt to fuse Hellenic and Venetian imagery.
     The architects have recognised the circulation path of the Biennale campus by providing an additional bridge over the adjacent canal, and activated the site by developing a concept that has spatial and physical relationship with the new bridge as well as with the greater Venetian context. A belvedere/ theatre, rising above the trees and facing the Lido (on axis with Athens), provides an additional symbol of the Biennale.
     It was proposed that the Biennale should remove its fences and open its campus to the surrounding park, so that its buildings might be used by Venetians and visitors throughout the year. A constant link would be formed between the city and this place.
    Three buildings were designed that are independent but interrelated spatially and architecturally. Together, they comprise a micro-urban scheme that is both internalised and externalized, providing diverse galleries as well as outside spaces for the display of sculpture. Building A is a long, labyrinthine gallery for paintings and drawings. Five periscopes (12m high) are located along the path of the gallery to provide a variety of unusual points of view, juxtaposing real and unreel images of the Biennale complex and beyond. Building B has a square gallery for sculpture and the display of architectural objects. Natural light filters into the space through a large opening to the sky and six water cylinders/fountains located along the western edge of the gallery facing the canal. Two electronically operated solar roof panels control the climate. Building C is a Greco-Venetian tower and belvedere/theatre in the sky. It contains three smaller galleries for paintings and drawings, accessible through an adjacent circulation tower. The top of the building is crowned by an open-air theatre propped up by wooden supports All three towers are in concrete, faced with reconstructed Istria stone.

Collaborators : Mark Gangi, Julian Reid, Kostas Kostopoulos, Sortris Papadopoulos
Model : Mark Gangi, Julian Reid
Photos : Tony Nagelmann, Mark Gangi
Below : View, Section, Ground floor plan, Roof plan