“The emphasis of the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale will be on what we have in common,” explained British architect David Chipperfield, who is directing the main exhibition at this year’s Biennale, via satellite television to a group of press assembled in New York last month. “The ambition is to reassert the existence of an architectural culture made up not just of singular talents, but a rich continuity of diverse ideas united in a common history,” he said.
Along those lines Chipperfield titled the show Common Ground. It will showcase 63 projects in the central exhibition space among the national pavilions in Venice’s Giardini and sprawl through the city’s gargantuan 540,000-square-foot Arsenale from August 29 through November 25. It will be only the 13th devoted to architecture in the Biennale’s 120-year history—the design exhibition is held in years that do not host the much older visual art Biennale. Chipperfield started planning the expansive show by inviting a group of architects to propose a project that “showed architecture in its context of influence and affinity, history and language, city and culture,” he said. “The final list of contributors demonstrates a rich culture of difference.”