The Happenstance - Scotland's contribution as a Collateral Event at the The 16th Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia - opened to the public on 26 May 2018. We've gathered some of the reviews and comments received during the preview week. We hope you can make it along yourself and add your thoughts - Tweet or Instagram your comments using #happenstance18
"A standout triumph of Freespace is Scotland's rebellious contribution which exuberantly challenges the entire edifice of the Biennale with a participatory pavilion-cum-festival as much of Scotland as of Venice" - Phineas Harper (@PhinHarper), writing in the Architectural Review
"Finally, once you've had enough of the main venues and are looking for some truly free space, head across town to the garden of the crumbling Palazzo Zenobio in Dorsoduro. Here, Scotland’s contribution takes the form of a community garden, where the young hands-on architecture practice Baxendale has erected a festive boardwalk-cum-climbing frame, as an armature for others to come and add to the structure and stage their own events. When I visited, an army of children was busy tangling themselves up in a cat’s cradle of colourful ropes, others were embroiled in a cape-making workshop before preparing to join a local parade, while another group was setting up a projector for an al-fresco film screening."
"Ultimately the most engaging, even exciting moments of FREESPACE are those looking seriously beyond the vernissage and the biennale itself. - George Kafka, DISEGNO Daily
"Ultimately the most engaging, even exciting moments of FREESPACE are those looking seriously beyond the vernissage and the biennale itself. The Happenstance, a Scottish “collateral" pavilion curated by WAVEparticle is grounded in social and material collaboration with its neighbours on a site far from the Arsenale/Giardini hub. Here, a colourful wooden frame will undergo continuous adaptation, providing space for as yet unforeseen activities.”
George Kafka, (@g_kafka) Disegno Daily https://www.disegnodaily.com/article/the-16th-venice-biennale-for-architecture
"Filling the garden of the Palazzo Zenobio with a joyful outdoor playground ripe for transformation by its users, drawbridges, ladders, deckchairs and a DJ booth become a modular “free space" that can be added to and deconstructed by locals.”
Alice Bucknell (@ElephantMag), Elephant Mag
"Judging by the many links with local individuals and groups forged over several months, this is one example of so-called 'community engagement' that seems set to have real legs over the coming months – a free-space mixing of local and biennale."
Rob Wilson, The Architects Journal (@ArchitectsJrnal)
"Any sign of pretension has been replaced by a wooden corridor that draws visitors in from the street, doubling as a catwalk, skate ramp, climbing frame, and many more variants that will doubtlessly emerge in the coming weeks. A truly free space."
Metropolis Magazine (@MetropolisMag)
"On a Sunday afternoon in Venice, kids swing from wood beams while adults lounge in canvas chairs. The structure exhibits the work of the architects, but it also emphasizes the contributions of planners, performance artists, and entrepreneurs, and the people who use it. As a structure, The Happenstance feels unfinished, and that's a good thing—it lets in the sloppiness and beauty of everyday life."