British Pavilion Venice Architecture Biennale 2020
We propose a radical place-swap for the British Pavilion. In fact, in the year 2020 it will not be found in the Giardini, nor somewhere else in Venice – it will be all over Great Britain: in Portsmouth, in Leeds, in Nottingham, in Llandudno... In a nationwide curated program the architectural debate is brought back to places where it can self-critically redefine its public value proposition whilst facilitating discourse about the role of architecture. As a nomadic institution, the British Pavilion will set up shop in a network of cafes across the country, which will host a series of curated workshops and events. As few other institutions across the country, from urban to rural areas, the British 'caff' serves, builds, and bridges communities, making it a keystone of an informal, quasi-public infrastructure to tap into an affordable ‘thirdspace’, with an entrenched spatial and temporal ambiguity: serving breakfast all day. In turn Padiglione Gran Bretagna – once transformed into a quintessential caff – will host an immersive experience for the duration of the Biennale: As an amalgamated reconstruction of the participating cafes, it will invite visitors of the Biennale to reflect on the exhibitions in the adjacent, conventionally curated national pavilions over a bacon butty and an instant coffee.