1 Gateway by Norman Foster
Showgoers enter the Arsenale via Foster’s sensory-stimulating cave. A light show splashes the names of architects, designers, landscape architects and planners – many of them Biennale alumns – across the installation’s walls, floors and columns. Meanwhile, scenes from communal spaces across the globe, including historic public spaces in Europe and favelas in South America, form a collage to complement the light works.
2 Arum by Zaha Hadid
Inside the Arsenale, Hadid’s pleated-metal tensile structure highlights her firm’s research and work with algorithm-derived forms. Surrounding the installation are suspended models depicting Hadid’s most renowned (and oft controversial) roofs, including the Aquatics Centre for the London Olympics and the Mobile Art Pavilion for Chanel.
3 Radix by Aires Mateus
Grand and elegant, this steel pavilion by the Portuguese firm perches on the docks of the Arsenale. Drawing inspiration from the surrounding arcades, the monolith is carved with arches that create vaulted canopies for those looking for a shaded respite.
4 Elbphilharmonie by Herzog & de Meuron
While it may have been plagued by legal issues early on, the Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg is finally nearing completion. The Swiss duo of Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron shows the project off with suspended 3D models that offer a glimpse of what its interiors will look like. The models are flanked by photographs and news reports chronicling the building’s construction and controversy.