marți, 25 noiembrie 2008

A record number of visitors for the Architecture Biennale: 129,323 visitors, with a daily average of 1,827

The 11th Architecture Biennale closed on Sunday 23rd November with a record number of 129,323 visitors, a daily average of 1,827
(total of last edition: 127,298

Exceptional attention from the media: 2,360 accredited journalists (+20% on the preceding edition), 85 television channels from around the world.
A collection of press cuttings includes 910 articles published by periodicals throughout the world (793 in the preceding edition)

The Architecture Biennale has seen a record number of National participations (56) and collateral events (24)

25,000 international guests from the world of architecture
took part in the four days of inaugural vernissage

Venice, November the 24th, 2008 – The 11th International Architecture Exhibition, Out There: Architecture Beyond Building, directed by Aaron Betsky and organised by La Biennale di Venezia, presided by Paolo Baratta, closed yesterday, Sunday 23rd of November, with a record number of visitors compared to preceding edition, having opened on September, the 14th.
A total of 129,323 visitors came to the Exhibition, divided between the exhibition venues of the Giardini and the Arsenale. During the 10 weeks that it has been open, the 11th Exhibition has constantly been at the top of the rankings of the most visited Italian exhibitions in 2008. With a daily average of 1,827visitors and record numbers during the weekends of 8,840 people, the total is higher than the last edition of 2006 (127,298).
The total number of students to visit the exhibition either in groups or individually is 61,436.

Officially inaugurated by the Minister for Cultural Affairs, Sen. Sandro Bondi, on September the 13th, the 11th Exhibition was also visited by the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano.

The discussion and criticisms about the original theme of the exhibition – “architecture beyond building” – and the unusual layout of the show by Aaron Betsky, stimulated some wide ranging debate and the participation of what is a vast public for an architecture exhibition, especially with regard to the current economic situation, which has seen a drop in tourist numbers.

The importance attained by the Architecture Biennale, which has enjoyed unmatched media coverage, and which was covered by all the Italian TV news channels on the day of its opening, has been confirmed by leading international publications:
• “The 11th Architecture Biennale of Venice, the most important event in the sector” (Grégoire Allix, Le Monde, 16.09.2008).
• “The Venice Biennale, the world’s most important architecture festival” (Edwin Heathcote, Financial Times, 16.09.2008).
• “The Venice Architecture Biennale remains the most anticipated and ambitious design show in the world” (Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times, 17.09.2008).
• “Enormous numbers of visitors, journalists arriving in crowds and an impressive press coverage: the 11th Architecture Biennale of Venice no longer has any reason to envy its big sister, the Biennale d’Arte” (Lorette Coen, Le Temps, 20.09.2008).
• “A fundamental appointment to learn of the latest trends” (Gerhard Matzig, Suddeutsche Zeitung, 11.11.2008).

The exhibition saw the presence of 2,360 journalists during the 71 days it was open to the public, of which 1,294 non-Italian and 1,066 Italian (in 2006, a total of 1962 journalists visited). There were 85 television channels accredited during the whole exhibition (of which 59 non-Italian and 26 Italian) and 183 television reporters visited the exhibition (of which 105 non-Italian and 78 Italian). Press coverage has been ample and so far totals 920 articles compared to 793 in the past edition of 2006.

The vernissage, held between 10th and 14th September, saw the presence of 25,000 international guests in just four days (trade operators, curators, exhibitors, national representatives and the press). With an increase of 19% on 2006, which saw the presence of 1319 journalists, and those present this year at the vernissage were 1,570: 709 Italian and 861 non-Italian.

Another figure that has changed substantially for the Architecture sector concerns the number of national participations and collateral events: 56 national participations, one Special Event by the Milan City Authorities and 24 Collateral Events, double those of preceding editions.

The educational activities have also concluded successfully, with 16,794 visitors making use of them, an increase of 18% on 2006 (14,236). A particularly noteworthy figure is the 45% increase in participation in educational initiatives by university students, and a 25% increase on the part of second-degree secondary schools. There have been 254 workshop activities (+49% on 2006), involving 5,037 enthusiasts, from the very young to adults. Of the 840 groups who have made use of these educational activities, 686 come from the world of research and teaching. These figures demonstrate that the Architecture Biennale has been chosen as a venue for learning and discovering the latest trends at all stages of the educational process, from primary school to university.

The 11th Exhibition has paid particular attention to the young public, becoming a creative workshop open to research. Its experimental character has been confirmed by the numerous inscriptions to the on-line Everyville 2008 competition, entitled Communities beyond Place, Civic consciousness beyond Architecture, aimed at university students from around the world: 245 groups for a total of 782 students from 48 countries took part in the competition. The works of the leading 10 and of the 40 honorable mentions were exhibited at the Artiglierie dell’Arsenale while the rest of the projects to have been received can be seen on the website:

Two publications, both by Marsilio, have accompanied visitors on their exploration of the Exhibition, Out There: Architecture Beyond Building: a catalogue divided into five volumes contained within a PVC case and a DVD entitled The Making of the Biennale by Aaron Betsky.

The 11th Exhibition has been held with the support of ACI-Automobile Club d'Italia, Domus, Fantoni, Foscarini, Nivea, Autodesk, Casamania, Matteograssi, Bisazza, Enel, Ferrovie dello Stato, Flex, Link, Mediacontech and Micromegas. And, for Everyville 2008, with that of Telecom Italia, MACE and Newitalianblood. We wish to thank Actv for the shuttle services.

For further information
Architecture Press Office
Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia
Tel. +39 041 5218 846/868/716 - Fax +39 041 5218812

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