The Venice Biennale has been one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world since the Art Biennale was inaugurated in 1895. A dedicated Architecture Biennale was established in 1980 and has gradually established its own identity running in alternate years to the Art Biennale. The 2012 Architecture Biennale attracted around 180,000 international visitors, giving a vital platform to architectural practice and the key related issues of society and space.
Since 1937, the British Council has managed the British Pavilion and has taken responsibility for the British representation at the biennale. While the exact model differs for each biennale, the curatorial team is appointed on the advice of a selection committee made up of prominent figures from the world of art, architecture, engineering and design.
Alongside the national pavilion, the British Council also supports independent exhibitions from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, which are not part of the official pavilions but that hold events across Venice during the biennale. You can explore the rich history of the British Pavilion from 1895 to the present on our British Pavilion in Venice website.