The Spanish Pavilion exhibited at this 16th Venice International Architecture Biennale joins the spirit of Freespace, the motto proposed this year by the curators Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara (Grafton architects). becoming, the proposal presented by the Spanish team includes a wide variety of actions, works and speeches; in general, open processes, research works or experiments carried out on Architecture learning environments, not only academic ones but also social or professional, which highlights changes of the architectural paradigm at the present time. A kind of Architecture and architects that cannot be abstracted from a reality in continuous change, and that must evolve harmoniously with the new functional, technical and environmental needs generated by contemporary society. Following the temporary character of the previous Spanish Pavilion unfinished, awarded with the Golden Lion in 2016, the aim of this edition is not to exhibit the contemporary panorama of Spanish architecture but above all try to open a gap to what is coming. Thus, Ministry of Development supports the new generations of architects, as it has been doing for more than thirty years, through the Europan international competition, in which our young architects have found a first professional opportunity so many times. But now we want to go a step further, incoming and showing the learning process in which they grow and which, as we can see in this exhibition, has proven to go beyond the academic sphere. The curator Atxu Amann and her team show that process through a distinctive exhibition proposal that pleads for a minimal intervention, based on the accumulation of information, and simultaneously a spatial recovery of the original pavilion, refurbished by Vaquero Palacios in 1952.
The curator and her team have sought, again in this edition, a high degree of participation, managed by public open calls, which have served both to obtain the contents of the pavilion’s interior, as well as to define the external spaces and to elaborate a joint action with neighboring National Pavilions of Belgium and the Netherlands in the common access space. A team consisting of twelve experts and more than forty professionals of learning environments from all over Spain have collaborated in the selection of the exhibited works and in the intellectual creation of becoming, which has been configured as a necessary and pertinent research project. Finally, from the Ministry of Development, Spanish Government, with the collaboration of AECID, Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, and AC/E Acción Cultural Española, our acknowledges to the Curator and the assistant Curators for their efforts, as well as the large team of experts and collaborators that in each specific stage have contributed to the construction of this exciting project; and of course, the involvement of Arquia Foundation, and of all the sponsors that with their confidence have made possible, one more year, our presence in the Giardini della Biennale di Venezia. I am convinced that in incoming years, the promising quarry of architects who today show their unstoppable potential here will undoubtedly be the protagonist of the history of our contemporary architecture.
Íñigo de la Serna Hernáiz Minister of Development