February 21, 2018 - National Gallery of Canada - National Gallery of Canada resumes state-of-the-art restoration of the Canada Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
e-flux Architecture
February 21, 2018
February 21, 2018

National Gallery of Canada

Canada Pavilion in Venice under restoration. Photo: Francesco Barasciutti, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

National Gallery of Canada resumes state-of-the-art restoration of the Canada Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
February 21, 2018

Canada Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
Venice
Italy

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After close to 60 years of exhibitions featuring the work of some of Canada’s most celebrated artists and architects, the Canada Pavilion in Venice, Italy is undergoing a major restoration. The designated heritage building is an important architectural landmark in the Giardini, the traditional site of the international festival - La Biennale di Venezia.

The historic restoration project, initiated by the Gallery in 2014, is being carried out by the Milanese architect Alberico Barbiano di Belgiojoso, heir to the Italian firm that originally designed the pavilion, BBPR (Banfi, Belgiojoso, Peressutti, Rogers), working in close cooperation with Venice-based architect Troels Bruun of M+B Studio and Canadian architect Gordon Filewych of onebadant.

Restored to its original 1957 design with functional upgrades, the pavilion will be officially unveiled on May 26, 2018 at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of its inauguration. It will feature the exhibition, Canada Builds a Pavilion in Venice, which will offer an unprecedented analysis of the context in which one of Italy's most important architectural firms of the post-war era was commissioned by the National Gallery of Canada to design and build Canada’s pavilion. The exhibition will also offer a study of the building’s notable modernist architecture, as well as depictions of key moments in its sixty-year history.

Réjean Legault, associate professor at the École de design of the Université du Québec à Montréal and former head of the Study Centre at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, organized the exhibition with the contribution of architectural and design historian Cammie McAtee. The exhibition forms part of a larger endeavour documenting the pavilion, led by the National Gallery of Canada, which includes a publication and videos featuring first-hand accounts from the Italian and Canadian participants in this important restoration project. The short films are produced in collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada.

Canadian landscape architect and Order of Canada recipient, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, and Bryce Gauthier of Enns Gauthier Landscape Architects are working in partnership with the Venice Biennale and the Venice Superintendent for Architectural Heritage on the redesign and replanting of the landscape surrounding the Canada Pavilion. This has been undertaken within the context of a larger Giardini di Castello renewal project begun by the Biennale in 2013. The site now features a new pathway behind the Canada Pavilion and a platform overlooking the Laguna Veneta, while also providing an expanded space that can accommodate performance and artistic interventions.

Funding for the 3 million CAD restoration project has been provided by the National Gallery of Canada’s Distinguished Patron and Founding Secretary of the Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada, Reesa Greenberg. The project has benefitted from the exceptional collaboration of the Venice Biennale, the Venice Superintendent for Architectural Heritage, and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, as well as support from Global Affairs Canada.

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Media requests:
North America press contact:
Josée-Britanie Mallet, Senior Media and Public Relations Officer, National Gallery of Canada
T 1 613 990 6835 / bmallet [​at​] gallery.ca

International press contact:
Catriona Collins, Pickles PR
T +44 7719 357 114 / catriona [​at​] picklespr.com

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