KFive+Kinnarps explore the Biennale Architettura 2018

In June, two of our brilliant team members visited Europe to undergo their intensive Kinnarps training. Alongside their training, Joel and Lisa took the opportunity to visit some of our European factories (which you can read more about here), and the Biennale Architettura 2018 in Venice. 

Today we speak with Lisa Cunningham, our amazing VIC Sales Executive, about her experience at Biennale Architettura 2018. And together we explore the The Pavilion of the Holy See – Venice 2018



This year the Vatican City opened its first ever exhibition in the Venice Architecture Biennale. This exhibition was titled the “Pavilion of the Holy See” and was located on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore.

Visiting this location was exciting in itself, the beautiful San Giorgio church was the greeting point when we arrived at the island. We then had to walk some distance to where a large park was located and the 10 “chapels” were positioned amongst the trees. It was like taking a treasure hunt as you discovered each of the chapels whilst walking around the beautiful park.

The exhibition was inspired by Erik Gunnar Asplund who designed a woodland chapel in Stockholm’s world heritage listed Woodland Cemetery in 1920. There were 10 architects from all over the world who were selected and invited to design a chapel. The only guidelines given were that the structure needed to contain an altar and a lectern.

The architects that participated included:

Sean Godsell (Australia), Norman Foster (UK), Smiljan Radic (Chile), Terunobu Fujimori (japan), Andrew Berman (USA), Carla Juacaba (Brazil), Eduardo Souto de Moura (Portugal), Eva Prats and Ricardo Flores (Spain), Francesco Cellini (Italy) and Javier Corvalan (Paraguay).

Each of the chapels were very unique, and very different from each other, an expression of how the architect had interpreted the design brief. The one that I liked the best was Javier Corvalan’s, as it was an amazing open circular structure which was tilted.  As you encountered the circular ring which was quite large (almost 8 metres diameter), you experienced many different views, and as you moved closer and then within the circle, the crucifix was revealed.

Sean Godsell’s chapel was also very striking, and was a very tall vertical structure, black on the exterior. Gold internal panels caught and reflected the light as the roof was open. “Pews” which are made from recycled Venetian mooring poles, were positioned to face the “altar”.

There was also an 11th structure, Asplund Pavillion designed by MAP Studio (Francesco Magnani and Traudy Pelzel) that contained the drawings about Woodland Chapel by the architect Asplund.

It was a wonderful experience to visit this exhibit, it was peaceful and quiet and, in a way, quite spiritual. I would say it was the highlight of my visit to the Venice Architecture Biennale.

Take a look below to see some of Lisas favourite installations, including Australia's own contribution by Sean Godsell


‘A dynamic entity capable of surviving thousands of kilometres away’

Australian architect Sean Godsell’s portable instillation. Created in collaboration  with Maeg and Zintek and Nice


'Reconstruction of the woodland chapel by Gunnar Asplund'

Francesco Magnani and Traudy Pelzel with Alpi


Cross Chapel

Terunobu Fujimori with Barth Interni, Lignoalp


A Nomadic Chapel

Javier Corvalán with Simeon


Crosses Morphed Into A Tensegrity Structure

Norman Foster with Maeg, Tecno, Terna


Not A Project; A Reflection

Francesco Cellini with Panariagroup


The Morning Chapel

Ricardo Flores and Eva Prats with Saint-Gobain Italia



Thank you to our intrepid traveller Lisa Cunningham for all her insights from the Biennale Architettura 2018, Venice