Biennial Italy

New national pavilions planned for Arsenale

Former barracks set for restoration

The buildings at the Sale d'Armi complex

venice. The Venice Biennale is to grant permanent space to new national pavilions in the Arsenale. Long-term concessions will be offered in return for funding the renovation works to the buildings. A number of South American, Asian and Gulf states are believed to be applicants for the new concessions.

Biennale President Paolo Baratta told The Art Newspaper that an agreement with Argentina is likely while talks with Chile and Mexico are at an advanced stage. Portugal and the UAE have also requested permanent spaces, along with Bahrain, which claimed the Golden Lion for best national pavilion at the Architecture Biennale last year. China made an official visit to the premises last year. India has also requested to participate in 2011.

Currently, 32 countries exhibit in the biennale’s permanent pavilions in the Giardini while other countries use spaces in the Arsenale and around the city.

The biennale restoration project involves the recovery of the Arsenale’s central body, the Sale d’Armi complex. It lies opposite the intersection between the long Corderie and Artiglierie buildings, where the main central square will be located (another will lie next to the Gaggiandre, the indoor marine dockyards).

Works will centre on four 16th-century barracks built with bricks and stone, each with a wooden roof.

Baratta pointed out that each investing country would face a €1.5m to €1.7m commitment, (the total project cost is estimated at €20m), for a concession of around 20 years.

Total renovations costs are estimated at 20 million euro
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