Venice Biennale European Pavilion – EU CITY Manifesto

Venice Architecture Biennale European Pavilion, EU Manifesto, Architects, Exhibition

Venice Biennale European Pavilion : EU CITY Manifesto

Italian Architectural Conference – 2012

6 Sep 2012

Venice Biennale European Pavilion 2012


President Paolo Baratta, Architect Winy Maas, launched the EU CITY Manifesto with a large audience at the preview days of Architecture Biennale, « Through architecture we show what kind of democracy we can build. What kind of Europe do we want? » asked President Baratta in his opening remarks at the EU City Manifesto Conference in Venice on the 27th of August 2012.

President Paolo Baratta in Venice
Presidente della Biennale di Venezia / President of La Biennale di Venezia:
Paolo Baratta  Venice
photo : Giorgio Zucchiatti, Courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

« The possibility of a splintered Europe comes again into perspective. How to react to that? How to visualise this and to give optimistic visions? » answered architect Winy Maas (MVRDV, T?F).

For the first time Europe was present at the Venice Biennale! This conference, organised by the European Forum for Architectural Policies (EFAP) was hosted by la Biennale di Venezia during the official opening of the 13th International Architecture Exhibition-Common Ground. It brought together a large audience at the Giardini of the Biennale around the launch of the EU CITY MANIFESTO, giving a stron signal for Europe beyond national participations.

European organisations and networks joined enthusiastically this conference to show their support to the objectives of the Manifesto.

This Manifesto is more than an urgent call to national and European public authorities, for supporting daring architecture, processes that offer alternatives to the economic recession, and for the revitalisation of urban areas. It also calls for the regulation of the hold of finance on the city, playing as a lever: this Manifesto aims at drawing new models for Europe, turning the crisis into opportunities, by taking action.

“European cities are still so attractive that they are copied and visited from all over the world. At the same time, we witness the development of monotonous urban areas, without any quality, and nobody seems to care!” reminded Winy Maas, who expressed the will to launch with EFAP a tour along European cities for developing researches, discussions and exhibitions on their future. “ A European Pavilion, itinerant, interactive, collecting data and images on European diversity for a period of 3 years, could end up in a major exhibition in Paris, sharing points of view, experiences and visions for Europe’s future.” he stated.

Yvette Masson-Zanussi (EFAP) added: “It is our duty, as an NGO, to play the role of an interface between practice and policies. This project, inspired by Winy Maas, is a way to take back the city, invaded by bureaucracy. A way to convince the European and public authorities of the necessity of architecture in designing cities”.

“European cities are founded on a cultural dimension and the industrial model of city fabric must evolve towards new strategies”, stated the participants to the roundtable, “this Manifesto is important in light of this issue, and a crucial appeal to everyone”.

Signing the manifesto, President Baratta, positioning himself as an economist, stressed the fact that common « wellbeing depends on the surrounding and form we give to it, as on the quality of the demand it triggers ».

EFAP encouraged the audience to join forces and sign the Manifesto, which will be handed to the to the President of the European Commission, the President of the European Parliament, and European Union’s member states during the European Council. The European Council of Architects expressed its will to be part of the working process.

Among the first prominent personalities who have signed the EU CIty Manifesto: Paolo Baratta, President of the Biennale di Venezia / Winy Maas, architect (MVRDV, T?F) / Joost van Iersel, President of the commission 2020 of the European Economic and Social Committee / Marie-Hélène Contal, Deputy Director, Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine / Djamel Klouche, architect / Anne Houttan, Head of the Representation of the EU Commission in France / Cyrille Poy, journalist, editor / Pascal Brunet, director of Relais Culture Europe… To sign the manifesto for downloads and for more information:

During the Venice Architecture Biennale, the EFAP together with The Why Factory established a EU MEETING POINT, as a starting point of the programme with the exhibition “porous city”, research study directed by Winy Maas, of 676 lego towers , and AnarCity research developed in collaboration with the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam earlier this year. It is a utopian scenario which takes the idea of bottom-up urbanism to the extreme and presents it against the backdrop of the European city. On.The EFAP presented a book, AlterArchitectures, collection and papers on new tactics and experiences of architecture in Europe to address public authorities and profession at the time of crisis. ; booklet on exhibition on website.

Venice Architecture Biennale European Pavilion images / information received 060912

Winy Maas of MVRDV

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Venice Biennale European Pavilion