HDR to Sponsor U.S. Pavilion at Venice Biennale

HDR will sponsor the U.S. Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, an exhibition held every other year in Venice, Italy, in which architecture from nations around the world is presented. The event was originally scheduled for 2020 but was postponed due to pandemic travel restrictions. 

The theme of this year’s U.S. pavilion, American Framing, explores the ubiquity and aesthetic power of wood-framed construction in American architecture — considered to be one of the country’s most important contributions to building practice. Paul Andersen and Paul Preissner, the curators, are faculty members of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Architecture. The exhibition will be on view from May 22-Nov. 21, 2021.

Venice Biennale wood sculpture

“For over 120 years, the Venice Biennale has been one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world,” said Doug Wignall, FAIA, HDR's architecture group president. “As one of the world’s leading design firms, we’re honored to be able to support this important event dedicated to promoting design of the built environment on a global scale and showcasing architectural solutions to contemporary societal, humanistic, and technological issues.”

Previously, HDR supported the U.S. Pavilion at the 2018 Biennale. That exhibit, titled Dimensions of Citizenship, showcased seven commissioned works that interrogated a different condition of design and citizenship.

This year, the Venice Biennale will operate differently due to ongoing travel restrictions, which may limit in-person attendance. In light of this, HDR will leverage opportunities to share the important story that the exhibit tells regarding wood framing construction. Featuring a monumental installation that will activate the entrance to the neoclassical U.S. Pavilion and newly commissioned photographs, models, and site-responsive furniture, the exhibition will bring attention to an architectural element that has been mostly overlooked by historical and contemporary discourse.

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs supports and manages official U.S. participation at the International Architecture Exhibitions of La Biennale di Venezia. The selection of American Framing for the U.S. Pavilion resulted from an open competition in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Arts. Architectural Record is the media sponsor for the U.S. Pavilion.

For more information about the 2021 U.S. Pavilion, visit:

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