press release

The 9th Architecture Biennale of Venice 2004 is dedicated to the theme of METAMORPHOSES, signaling the cultural, technological, and critical transformations which over the past several decades have been so profound as to mark a momentous passage in the evolution of architecture from its postwar condition and status to its current and future potential.

The program for next year advances the hypothesis that we are currently witnessing fundamental changes in the nature of the profession, metamorphoses of a magnitude that justifies comparison with the evolution of living organisms. Advancing the disciplinary discourse that has already propelled architecture from its traditional, hermetic domain into a newly demanding role as catalyst of cultural experience, the 2004 Biennale will explore the worldwide manifestations of these transformations in the new hyper-scale of projects, the atmospheric aura of buildings, new responsive materials, mutations in the landscape, and the rehabilitation of port cities. Individual countries are invited to propose architects, projects, and installation strategies that respond and give special resonance to these and similar aspects of next year's theme.

The program of METAMORPHOSES will be articulated in two distinct environments: The enfilade of longitudinal spaces in the Arsenale sets the stage for a discursive exposition of events that have literally rearranged the disciplinary landscape of architecture since the 1970s, from Eisenman, Gehry, Rossi, and Stirling to the latest emerging talents, tendencies, and accomplishments. Spatially as well as figuratively, this historical perspective is central to the exhibition's intent: To investigate the means by which architecture has altered the processes of its own invention and execution, and thus acquired the ability to operate under radically new circumstances. In the wake of nearly universal adoption of digital technology, METAMORPHOSES will show how the way has been cleared for change in design, education, and disciplinary discourse.

In the spaces clustered around the hall of the Padiglione Italia, commissioned installations will present specific instances revealing how various epochal shifts have induced architecture's recent transformations. These installations will expose links between metamorphoses in the profession, new types of buildings, materials, mechanical systems, and innovations in modes of representation, collaboration, and realization. A host of cultural and technological forces have transformed architecture's global context. The mutation of historical time and the conversion of energy mark only two of its obvious instances. As a promenade of recent work, these commissioned installations will involve visitors in an immediate experience of architecture's recent metamorphoses and offer a glimpse onto our social and technological future.

The Biennale’s installation, posters, newly conceived book/catalogs, and website will be designed by one of the most innovative teams, Studio Asymptote (Hani Rashid and Lise Couture). Numerous architects, critics, and historians contribute to an anthology of ideas centering on the concept of metamorphosis and its infinite manifestations in current architectural thinking and practice. Kurt W. Forster (Pressetext)

only in german

9. Internationale Architektur Biennale Venedig 2004 - Metamorhoses
Direktor: Kurt W. Forster
Venedig, Giardini di Castello – Arsenale (Corderie- Artiglierie)