Great Britain

The British Council will present the exhibition ‘A Clockwork Jerusalem’ in the British Pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition – Venice Biennale.

The Project will explore the diverse cultural influences that shaped and were shaped by British Modernism in the post war era and over the last 100 years.

A Clockwork Jerusalem’s curatorial team, comprising FAT Architecture and Crimson Architectural Historians, has outlined their plans: “A Clockwork Jerusalem explores how a specifically British form of Modernism emerged from a modernity that combined traditions of the romantic, sublime and pastoral with a fascination and fear of the industrial, technology and science fiction to create new visions of society.

Taking the large scale projects of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s as a point of departure, the exhibition explores the mature flowering of British Modernism, the moment it was at its most socially, politically and architecturally ambitious but also the moment that witnessed its collapse.

The exhibition tells the story of how British modernity emerged out of an unlikely combination of interests and how these modern visions continue to create our physical and imaginative landscapes. From Stonehenge to council estates, from Ebenezer Howard to Cliff Richard, from ruins and destruction to back-to-the-land rural fantasies, through architecture, records, books and adverts, A Clockwork Jerusalem explores the culture and products of British modernity as an architectural project and as a wider cultural experience.”

To coincide with what will be the longest running International Architecture Exhibition to date in Venice, the British Council has launched its Venice Fellowships Programme in partnership with 15 architecture schools and arts institutions from the UK and beyond. The programme offers 50 students a unique one month work-study opportunity during the Biennale.

Founded by Sam Jacob, Sean Griffiths and Charles Holland in London, FAT Architecture was conceived to develop architectural culture through design, research and teaching. FAT’s work has been characterised by a highly conceptual approach, combining the practical demands of architecture with critical and provocative thinking.

Crimson Architectural Historians is a Rotterdam-based practice that functions as a hybrid planning, design and research facility. Since contributing to the planning for the extension of the railway and neighbourhood in Utrecht’s Leidse Rijn, the office has been involved in the production of numerous books and papers on urban planning.

Special Events:

Thursday, June 5, 10:30am | Press Talk and Tour
Thursday June 5, 4pm | Official Opening ceremony
Friday, June 6, 12pm – 1pm | Talk: A Clockwork Jerusalem
Friday June 6, 3pm – 4pm | Talk: Is there such as thing as National Architecture?

  • Open:
    Saturday, 07 June 2014
  • Close:
    Sunday, 23 November 2014
  • Address:
    Giardini, Castello, 30122 Venezia
  • Web:
    British Council – Venice Biennale
  • Opening hour:
    10am – 6pm
  • Closing day:
  • Photo credits:
    1. Kevin Cummins: Princess Parkway, Hulme, Manchester, 06 January 1979; 2. Kevin Cummins: Joy Division, Hulme, Manchester, 06 January 1979. Courtesy of the British Council


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