The Austrian Pavilion

Foto: Gabriele Basilico
Foto: Gabriele Basilico
Foto: Gabriele Basilico

The first International Art Exhibition was held in Venice in 1895. All fourteen participating countries shared the Central Pavilion as a common exhibition hall. With the inauguration of the Belgian Pavilion in 1907, followed by those of Germany, Great Britain and Hungary in 1909, the establishment of individual national pavilions at the Giardini della Biennale began.

Austria expressed its intention to build its own national pavilion in 1910, following which plans were drawn up and precise information regarding the building site and construction costs were obtained. The initiative was interrupted by the outbreak of the First World War. Following the resumption of the Biennale in 1920, Austria continued to exhibit in the Central Pavilion.

In 1932, Germany decided not to participate and Austria was given permission to use their empty building as its own national pavilion.

The following year, plans were drafted by architects Josef Hoffmann and Robert Kramreiter for an Austrian Pavilion that was officially inaugurated on May 12, 1934.

Following the “Anschluss“ with Germany in 1938, the Austrian Pavilion was offered for sale and used temporarily as a storage space for Cinecitta film productions while Austrian artists exhibited in the German Pavilion. Only in 1948, with the resumption of the Biennale following the Second World War, did Austria return to its own national pavilion.

Its sculpture courtyard was expanded in 1954, and a small office/storage was added in 1956. In 1984, exactly 50 years after its construction, the Austrian Pavilion underwent a complete restoration.