Dezeen Magazine

British Pavilion at the next Venice Architecture Biennale

UK-Kenya team to turn British Pavilion "inside out" for 2025 Venice Architecture Biennale

The British Council has announced that the British Pavilion at the next Venice Architecture Biennale will be curated by Cave Bureau co-founders Kabage Karanja and Stella Mutegi with Dezeen contributor Owen Hopkins and Queen Mary University professor Kathryn Yusoff.

The British contribution to the 2025 biennale in Venice will see the British Pavilion building in the Giardini, which was built in 1909 to evoke a country house, turned "inside out".

"The exhibition will map architectures from across the world defined by an embedded relationship to the ground, which are resilient in the face of climate breakdown, social, economic and political upheaval; and that offer refuge and empowerment for the most climate-exposed communities," said the curator team.

"To frame this, we intend to conceptually re-inscribe the British Pavilion by turning it inside out and unearth what these acts of repair might look like when framing a planetary vernacular."

Pavilion to be curated by UK-Kenyan team

The team consists of curators and architects from UK and Kenya.

Karanja and Mutegi are the co-founders of Nairobi-based architecture studio Cave Bureau, which has been curating the travelling Anthropocene Museum since 2019 – last year the Anthropocene Museum took over a slaughterhouse as part of the Sharjah Architecture Triennial.

Mutegi was recently named in Dezeen's list of the 50 most influential women in architecture and design.

Alongside the Cave Bureau duo, the exhibition will be curated by Hopkins, who is the director of the Farrell Centre at Newcastle University and a long-time contributor to Dezeen, and Yusoff, who is a professor of inhuman geography at Queen Mary University of London.

According to the British Council, which commissions the pavilion, the appointment of the UK-Kenyan team marks the first time the pavilion has been used to "celebrate international connection and collaboration".

Exhibition will focus on "architecture of repair"

"As part of the upcoming 2025 UK-Kenya Season of Culture, this appointment marks the first time that the British Council uses our platform as a cultural relations organisation to celebrate international connection and collaboration through the British Pavilion in Venice," said British Council director of architecture, design and fashion Sevra Davis.

"I look forward to working with the appointed team to develop and deliver an exhibition that speaks not only of an 'architecture of repair' but also celebrates cross-cultural knowledge creation. The exhibition will acknowledge the past while presenting an exciting vision for a more equitable future."

The Venice Architecture Biennale is the most significant global architecture event and the 2025 edition will be curated by Italian architect and engineer Carlo Ratti. His appointment at the end of last year was described as a "a screeching U-turn" by critic Catherine Slessor in an opinion piece on Dezeen.

Last year's British Pavilion was curated by Jayden Ali, Meneesha Kellay, Joseph Henry and Sumitra Upham. It was one of 11 key pavilions were rounded up from the event.

The photo is courtesy of the British Council.