Rem Koolhaas Announces Title and Theme of 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale

While David Chipperfield had but eight months to prepare for the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale, successor Rem Koolhaas has announced his theme almost a year and a half in advance of the 2014 festivities.

Rem Koolhaas crossing the street in Beijing, via Wiki. Doesn’t he just exude cool?

Koolhaas announced today in Venice  that “Fundamentals” would be the title and theme of the 2014 Architecture Biennale. Going back to the basics, his focus is on “architecture, not architects,” history — “the evolution of national architectures in the last 100 years” — not  the contemporary. Taking full advantage of his headstart, he aims for more cohesion in the National Pavilions among the 40 participating countries, while simultaneously showcasing the unique character of their architecture.

“National identity has seemingly been sacrificed to modernity,” Koolhaas said in a statement. “Ideally, we would want the represented countries to engage a single theme – Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014 – and to show, each in their own way, the process of the erasure of national characteristics in favour of the almost universal adoption of a single modern language in a single repertoire of typologies.”

In other words, get ready for architecture’s “It’s a Small World (After All).” Done just right, they could put those canals to really good use.

The 14th exhibition of the Venice Architecture Biennale is on view from June 7 to  November 23, 2014.

— Janelle Zara