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17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia
22 May - 21 Nov 2021
General Information

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The 17th International Architecture Exhibition, curated by Hashim Sarkis, which was to take place in Venice in 2020, will take place from Saturday 22 May to Sunday 21 November 2021.

Consequently, the 59th International Art Exhibition, curated by Cecilia Alemani, which was to take place in 2021, has in turn been postponed to 2022. It will last 7 months and will be held from Saturday 23 April to Sunday 27 November 2022.

The project for the Pavilion of Switzerland continues on the theme of borders, with the appointed project team formed of Mounir Ayoub and Vanessa Lacaille from Laboratoire d’architecture in Geneva, as well as Fabrice Aragno and Pierre Szczepski

The exhibition in the Swiss Pavilion at the Biennale Architettura 2021 in Venice «o – Experiences on the Border» ties the physical reality of the Swiss border to its political and social issues, thus drawing up a new perception for these inhabited territories. The outbreak of the pandemic in the middle of the work process gave the project additional relevance. Find out more about the project in the full press release.

Architect and curator Evelyn Steiner is responsible for the «Salon Suisse» at the 17th Biennale Architettura, a programme of talks and events supplementing the exhibition at the Swiss Pavilion. The «Salon Suisse», entitled «Bodily Encounters», will take place at the Palazzo Trevisan degli Ulivi during the the 17th Biennale Architettura. 

The first Salon Suisse event this year is scheduled for late summer. The provisional dates for this and the following events are:

Salon One: Thursday 23 September to Saturday 25 September 2021
Salon Two: Thursday 21 October to Saturday 23 October 2021
Salon Three: Thursday 18 November to Saturday 20 November 2021


Salon Suisse

The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia is the organiser of «Salon Suisse», an official collateral event to the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale Architettura in Venice. The series of lectures, debates and events set in Palazzo Trevisan offers opportunities to discuss architectural issues in a pleasant and stimulating atmosphere.

This year’s Salon Suisse, running under the heading Bodily Encounters, explores the fundamental connections between the human body and architecture. Our body functions as a crucial orientation and measurement system enabling us to experience space. Architecture for its part both protects and expands the body, and serves as a receptacle echoing individual and collective memories.

The first Salon Suisse event this year is scheduled for late summer. The provisional dates for this and the following events are:

Salon One: Thursday 23 September to Saturday 25 September 2021 (date subject to change)
Salon Two: Thursday 21 October to Saturday 23 October 2021
Salon Three: Thursday 18 November to Saturday 20 November 2021

Salonnière: Evelyn Steiner
Salonnière’s assistant: Viviane Ehrensberger

Swiss Pavilion

For the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia (22 May - 21 November 2021) the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia chose to entrust the exhibition in the Swiss Pavilion to a Geneva-based team of architects and artists: Mounir Ayoub and Vanessa Lacaille from Laboratoire d’architecture in Geneva, as well as filmmaker Fabrice Aragno and artist sculptor Pierre Szczepski. With its project Oræ – Experiences on the Border (oræ, Latin for «borders»), the team investigates the subject of borders taking into account both the political and spatial dimension of the territory and its sensitive and social perception.

«Studying the Swiss border in these times means envisaging it not only as a line on a map, but also as a space to be experienced; not only as a limit, but as a beginning», the authors of the project say.


The Venice Architecture Biennale is considered one of the most respected platforms for architecture and urban design worldwide. In light of the  17th International Architecture Exhibition  due to open in May 2021, the Swiss Arts Council  Pro Helvetia  for the second time conducted a competition to choose a team, which is to represent Switzerland at the Biennale di Venezia. Out of the 51 applications submitted, seven teams were picked to present their project. Five of these projects were subsequently selected for a second round. At the unanimous recommendation of the Biennale jury appointed by Pro Helvetia, the assignment to create the exhibition at the Swiss Pavilion went to  Mounir Ayoub , Vanessa Lacaille, from Laboratoire d'architecture in Geneva, and Fabrice Aragno and Pierre Szczepski .
Press Material

For further high-res images
Please contact: joseph@picklespr.com

Press Contact
Switzerland: Lisa Stadler, Communication and Media Relations, Pro Helvetia,
​lstadler@prohelvetia.ch

International: Joseph Lamb, Pickles PR,
joseph@picklespr.com, +44 (0)74 322 455 65