La Biennale di Venezia: Dialogue in Details Venice, Italy

View Project Info
120821_TOSHIKO MORI PRESS KIT_Page_5.jpg 120821_TOSHIKO MORI PRESS KIT_Page_6_small.jpg TOSHIKO MORI PRESS KIT_CONDENSED.pdf 120821_TOSHIKO MORI PRESS KIT_Page_7_small.jpg Elevations_without crop marks_Page_1.jpg Elevations_without crop marks_Page_2.jpg Elevations_without crop marks_Page_3.jpg Elevations_without crop marks_Page_4.jpg Elevations_without crop marks_Page_5.jpg _MG_4955.jpg _MG_4963.jpg _MG_4966.jpg _MG_4944.jpg _MG_4973.jpg _MG_5427.jpg venice-biennale-text.jpg

We define the theme of this year’s Venice Biennale, Common Ground, in physical as well as in intellectual terms. Physically, the intense intersection of the “detail”—the convergence of ideas, materiality, tectonics, and construction—guided our vision of common ground through its inherently collaborative nature. An architect’s voice and vision remains intact as existential evidence of their ideas. We have framed each detail as a totem – an object carrying an abstract spirit of its own, an animistic character that echoes the personality and signature of an architect. By isolating details and presenting them at half scale, one starts to inhabit this menagerie of architectural ideas as one detail starts to speak to another; they echo each other’s history, precedents, and references.

The idea of “details” is a particular homage to Carlo Scarpa, the architect of Veneto, and also to Piranesi, both of whom used details as moments of manifesto and as a springboard for their fertile imaginations and for the spaces they created.

Over the years, we have had the opportunity to work next to, in reference to, and in addition to the works of architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Paul Rudolph, Marcel Breuer, Mies van der Rohe, and Philip Johnson. Five details represent each of these five Masters. Our intellectual response is represented in the five details that stand in parallel dialogue. These are silent exchanges with deceased Masters, yet conversations and speculations continue on, creating an intellectual continuity within the language of contemporary architecture.


Tietz + Baccon (Erik Tietz, Brian Cronin)



Iwan Baan


Eirik Johnson

Ezra Stoller

Paul Warchol

Patricia Parinejad



Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University: Janet Parks

The Chicago History Museum

Christopher Domin

The Farnsworth House: Whitney French

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation: Margo Stipe

Martin House Restoration Corporation: Jonathan Claeys, Hector P. Garrido, Ted Lownie, Mary Roberts

The Museum of Modern Art: Paul Galloway

The Philip Johnson Glass House, National Trust for Historic Preservation: Irene Allen, Henry Urbach

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP, Chicago: William Baker

Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Library: Sean Quimby

Michael Walker


With the support of: 

Arete Foundation

Ed and Betsy Cohen

Robert and Susan Bishop

Robert Greenberg and Corvova Lee

David & Deborah Prutting,  Prutting & Co. Custom Builders L.L.C.

Location Venice, Italy