The 14th Architecture Biennale, directed by Rem Koolhaus, will run from 7 June – 23 November at the Giardini and the Arsenale in Venice. The mammoth event takes as its theme ‘Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014’, in which national pavilions have been invited to show the process of designed modernity in terms of infrastructure. The Pavilion of Ireland, curated by Gary A Boyd and John McLaughlin, is entitled Infra-Éireann – Making Ireland Modern and will examine the 100-year period episodically and at a range of scales. The exhibition explores the construction of new infrastructures after independence in 1921 and the adoption of modernist architecture perceived as a way to escape the colonial past. The development of infrastructure helped to establish national identity, but also had a cosmopolitan aspect, beginning with the Shannon hydro-electric facility at Ardnacrusha (1929). By the turn of the last century, Ireland had become the European headquarters of multinationals such as Google and Microsoft. In 2013, the country was a launch-pad and testing ground for aspects of designed modernity: the preferred site for Intel to design and develop its new microprocessor board, the Galileo, a building block for the internet of things. Projects by architects Noel Dowley, Peter and Mary Doyle, Michael Scott, Ronald Tallon, Norman White and Grafton Architects will be examined as well as innovation in infrastructure as seen in works by the ESB, Siemens-Schuckert, Roughan & O’Donovan engineers, the OPW and Aer Rianta.
7 June – 23 November