The Holy See Pavilion represents the Vatican’s first entry to the Architecture Biennale, following on from entries to the Art Biennale in 2013 and 2015. The Asplund Pavilion, like the Woodland Chapel that inspired it, is intended as a “place of orientation, encounter, meditation, and salutation.” The timber-framedchapel will be clad with 9000 wooden shingles, with the interior hosting an exhibition of drawings by Gunnar Asplund for the Woodland Chapel, accompanied by documents and models illustrating the concept and construction of the original chapel.
The pavilion is conceived as the prelude to an exhibition itinerary, which sees visitors led through dense woodlands on a circuit of ten chapels designed by ten architects, providing a variety of architectural responses to the original Stockholm chapel. The decision to include ten chapels was inspired by the Ten Commandments, with architects such as Norman Foster and Eduardo Souto de Mourao contributing chapels for the pavilion.
A visit to the ten Vatican Chapels is a sort of pilgrimage that is not only religious but also secular. It is a path for all who wish to rediscover beauty, silence, the interior and transcendent voice, the human fraternity of being together in the assembly of people, and the loneliness of the woodland where one can experience the rustle of nature which is like a cosmic temple. – Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President, Pontifical Council for Culture
The Holy See Pavilion will be curated by Professor Francesco Dal Co. The Venice Biennale will open on 24th May, and run through to November 25th.
In 2018 the Vatican will participate in the Venice Architecture Biennale for the first time. Ten international architects will construct 10 different chapels as part of the representation of the city-state in the Italian architecture event. The news was confirmed by Paraguayan media outlets who revealed that one of the participants was local architect Javier Corvalán.