“Island”: The British Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale


© Hélène Binet

© Hélène Binet

As part of our 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale coverage, we present the completed British Pavilion, which received an honorable mention in the Biennale awards. To read the initial proposal, refer to our previously published post, “Caruso St. John to Transform the British Pavilion Into a Politically Charged Meeting Space at 2018 Venice Biennale

A joint venture from Caruso St John Architects and artist Marcus Taylor, “Island” creates an elevated public space, offering views of Venice and a unique place for both meeting and reflecting.


© Cultureshock Media

© Cultureshock Media

© Hélène Binet

© Hélène Binet

Exposed to the elements, the platform consists of a wooden floor supported by a skeletal scaffold structure, suggesting reconstruction or abandonment, while peeking through the center of the elevated wooden platform is the original building’s tiled roof. The roof becomes a literal symbol of the exhibition title, the historic building displayed as an island within the space, acting as a focal point for various events to occur around.


© Italo Rondinella

© Italo Rondinella

© Hélène Binet

© Hélène Binet

The interior further develops these meanings with all of the white-walled rooms left completely bare, which allows the building itself to exhibit the many themes of the pavilion: refuge, exile, sanctuary, Brexit, isolation, colonialism, and climate change.


© Hélène Binet

© Hélène Binet

© Italo Rondinella

© Italo Rondinella

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