The Australia Council for the Arts announced that one of Australia’s most highly regarded architectural practices, Denton Corker Marshall, will design the new Australian pavilion for the Venice Biennale, planned for completion in 2015.

Denton Corker Marshall, whose credits include such landmark buildings as the Melbourne Museum, Museum of Sydney, Australian Embassies in Tokyo and Beijing, and the Stonehenge Visitor Centre in the UK, was unanimously selected from a shortlist of six Australian firms.

“Denton Corker Marshall was considered the outstanding choice to undertake this significant project,” said Chair of the Australia Council, James Strong AO. “We are inspired by their creative vision, confident in their ability and excited by the potential for a truly exemplary building all Australians will be proud of.”

Denton Corker Marshall’s concept for the pavilion is simple. As stated in their submission, the design is “to make a form of the utmost simplicity; a white box contained within a black box. The pavilion is envisaged as an object rather than a building; a presence that is simultaneously powerful and discreet within the heavily wooded gardens.”

John Denton, from Denton Corker Marshall said today: “Venice holds a special place in the arts and architecture worlds so it’s very exciting for us to win this project. I believe it will be a building that will proudly represent Australia and be recognised as a powerful, confident addition to the pavilions in the Giardini.”

The Venice Biennale is the world’s oldest and most prestigious event on the international contemporary arts calendar. Australia has been consistently represented at the event for more than three decades. It regularly attracts a quarter of a million visitors over its five months and last year over 192,000 attended the Australian pavilion’s exhibition.

Selection panellist Brian Zulaikha, President, Australian Institute of Architects said of the winning tender: “Denton Corker Marshall’s building is a striking, perhaps timeless addition to the Giardini. Handsome and sculpturally bold, its skilful simplicity creates an inspiring and limitless space for artists and audiences.”

Australia has had a site in the prestigious Giardini location since 1988 – one of only 29 countries to have a permanent national presence – where Phillip Cox designed our first pavilion as a temporary structure for the Arthur Boyd exhibition of that year. The new pavilion is due to be completed for the opening of the 56th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale 2015. The project, managed by the Australia Council, is estimated to cost approximately $6 million with all capital funds to be sourced from the private sector. Australia is the first country to redevelop its site in the Giardini.

High resolution images of the new Australian Pavilion:

www.australiacouncil.gov.au/pavilion

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Peter Bridges
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Cameron Woods
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