Pavilion of Estonia, Biennale di Venezia 2021

The Estonian Centre for Architecture will present the exhibition “Square! Positively shrinking” curated by Jiří Tintěra, Garri Raagmaa, Kalle Vellevoog, Martin Pedanik and Paulina Pähn in the Pavilion of Estonia at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, which will be hosted in the Arsenale complex. Exploring the role of high-quality urban space in enhancing the future development of small towns that are in jeopardy of depopulation, the exhibition sparks a debate on the lesser known facet of urbanisation.

The Biennale Architettura 2021 is curated by Lebanese architect Hashim Sarkis under the theme “How Will We Live Together?”, and encourages curators to consider how architecture can address global challenges that require coordinated action. In this sense, the Estonian exhibition responds to Sarkis’ call for pavilions: “The demand for a good living environment is growing, no matter where and how we will live together. The project “Square! Positively shrinking” helps to raise awareness of the architect’s important role and responsibility in defending the quality of our common living environment” explain the curators.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed our lives, the debate becomes even more urgent: “The real value of something becomes apparent when we lose it” adds Raul Järg, Commissioner of the Estonian Pavilion “today’s circumstances have vividly demonstrated the human need for face-to-face interaction, and also the quality of space where this interaction could happen.”

The Pavilion of Estonia is among the initiators of the Biennale Pavilions (www.biennalepavilions.com) project — a brand-new collective digital platform borne of a common sense of community, collaboration and exchange of ideas. The project enables visitors to enjoy the Biennale Architettura 2021 online, ensuring the participation of a higher number of visitors in times of travel and public gathering restrictions. Biennalepavilions.com will bring together all the contents and events related to the 20 different pavilions involved in the project, consolidating them in one digital hub that does not substitute the main event, but enhances its potentialities.

In fact, on the 21st of May at 3.30 PM (UTC+2) the pavilions of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, United Kingdom and Switzerland will hold a joint online event “Space me up: borderless living” introducing the exhibitions of the national pavilions. The event, which will be held on www.biennalepavilions.com, will include introductory videos and a lively discussion by the curators Jiri Tintera (Estonia), Jan Boelen (Lithuania), Philip Tidwell (Finland), Manijeh Verghese and Madeleine Kessler (United Kingdom), Elīna Lībiete (Latvia) and Mounir Ayoub (Switzerland).

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