“The British Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale aims to create debate that both challenges and influences the future of British architecture. The open call is an opportunity for us to hear from the UK architecture sector about contemporary British practice and the issues that matter most.”
–Sarah Mann, Commissioner of the British Pavilion 2020 and Director, Architecture Design Fashion at the British Council
The exhibition will be hosted in the British Pavilion, a listed building opened originally as a tea house in 1897 in the Giardini in Venice. The British Council has been responsible for the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale since 1937 and is renowned for commissioning the highest calibre UK artists and architects to present exhibitions and installations at the Pavilion.
For the British Pavilion, we are interested in proposals that explore contemporary architectural practice and offer a new way to express and communicate this to a wide and diverse international audience. We are looking for bold and imaginative proposals, which encourage participation, stimulate discussion and offer a new experience of and perspective on contemporary British architecture.
As this application process precedes the announcement of the Biennale curator and central theme, the winning team may decide to adapt or develop their proposal when the central curatorial theme is announced although this is not mandatory.
The shortlisting process will be based on scoring on the outlined criteria and carried out by the British Council. Due to the volume of submissions, there will be no feedback given to submissions received in Stage 1.
As a result of the shortlisting process, up to twelve teams will be asked for clarification on their proposal. These developed proposals need to submitted by Friday, 8 March. The updated submissions will then be sent to the Selection Committee. On Tuesday, 19 March 2019, the shortlisted teams will attend an interview in London and present their proposals to the Selection Committee.
British Pavilion Architecture Selection Committee
Invited by the British Council’s British Pavilion Commissioner, the 2020 Selection Committee includes:
Pooja Agrawal, Co-founder, Public Practice
Eva Franch I Gilabert, Director, Architectural Association (AA) School of Architecture Gabrielle Jenks, Digital Director, Manchester International Festival
Indy Johar, Co-founder, Architecture 00
Alan Jones, RIBA President Elect 2019
Jim MacDonald, Chief Executive, Architecture & Design Scotland
Sarah Mann, Commissioner, British Pavilion; Director, Architecture Design Fashion
Farshid Moussavi, Founder, Farshid Moussavi Architecture
Oliver Wainwright, Architecture and Design Critic, The Guardian
Who can apply?
We are looking for a cross-disciplinary team, which must include a curator who will lead the project and manage the team. The selected team will work closely with the British Council to develop and deliver the project.
Alongside the curator, the other team members may include architects, researchers, writers, artists, critics, and we also welcome collectives and teams from institutions and organisations. If you partner with an organisation or institution for your proposal, we require a letter of support from the named institution as part of your application. (See Application Form)
The curator must be able to allocate a significant proportion of their time to the project. You must nominate a lead applicant from your team, who will be our main contact during the application process.
Members of the team do not need to be UK-born, but the nominated lead applicant should currently be a resident or working in the UK and have a strong connection to contemporary British architecture.
Please visit the following link and fill out the application form in full: