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Central wins open call Outside the Box - Venice Biennale

On the occasion of the 16th Venice 2018 and in response to its general theme Freespace, the teams of the Belgian, Dutch and Spanish pavilions launched a joint Open Call in January. The winning entry, Europa by CENTRAL office for architecture and urbanism, will be presented on May 26 during the official opening of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018.

Spain, Belgium and The Nederlands – three pavilions with their own architectural identities and nation’s names displayed on their façades, a simplified but true tale of national pride. As a counterpoint to the current spirit of withdrawal into oneself, they propose to change the country’s name on the pavilions’ façades by superimposing six letters; a common symbol celebrating openness, collaboration and courage that outshines nationalistic and bureaucratic powers, a geographical and humanist bond between the three countries and many others: Europa in bright and coloured neon lights.

With the subtle yet bold gesture of overriding the countries’ names from the façade of each pavilion with a common sign spelling Europa, the winning proposal evokes the message of an imagined space of open borders, free circulation, equality, solidarity and diversity. It addresses Europe beyond the European Union, engaging in a form of representation that transcends the identity of the nation state and thus fulfills the Open Call’s ambition to question the methodological nationalism associated with the idea of an enclosed pavilion.



Curators : Traumnovelle & Roxane Le Grelle

An initiative of the Architecture Unit of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation in collaboration with Wallonia-Brussels International.

La Biennale di Venezia - Belgian Pavilion 2018



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