Plan for Venice Draws out the Critics

August 01, 2011 |

The promise of a new Australian pavilion in Venice bobs around like a gondola on the grand canal. One minute architects' hopes are afloat over the announcement of a new pavilion. The next, their hopes are dashed with news that only a select invited group will pitch for it.

However, after 750 architects signed a petition calling for an open competition and consultations with the Australian Institute of Architects, the Australia Council has announced a new tack. An ''open'' competition will be launched this month.

The catch, to some at least, is that it's open only to Australian architects with experience designing a public art gallery and working internationally. While the Australia Council and the institute consider it a victory, the organisers of the petition see it as a lost opportunity.

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