When the 56th Venice Biennale opens in early May, Australia will showcase our best art and architecture in a striking new pavilion built by Melbourne's Denton Corker Marshall.
The new pavilion, which will house an exhibition by South Australian artist Fiona Hall, is significant for Australia but also for Venice as it will be the only 21st century building in the public gardens in which there are 29 national pavilions plus one for the host country. In those pavilions each country exhibits some of its best contemporary art and architecture, in alternate years.
Australia has been exhibiting art at the biennale since 1954 and architecture since 1991. Previously, Australia's pavilion was designed by Philip Cox as a temporary structure and left there since 1988. The building is owned by federal arts funding agency the Australia Council on behalf of the Australian public.
The new building contains black granite from Zimbabwe and matt black solar panels, which meet the Italian requirement for solar panels and also the Venetian rule that solar panels aren't allowed to be seen from the sky.
*originally published on www.therealestateconversation.com.au**