Letters forming FINLANDIA hanging from wires, surrounded by vines, on a backdrop of a blue wood facade.

Finland at the International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia

Appointed by the Ministry of Education and Culture, Archinfo is in charge of the Pavilion of Finland in the International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. The next Biennale Architettura will be held in 2025.

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Biennale Architettura 2023: Huussi – Imagining the future history of sanitation

The 18th International Architecture Exhibition was organised from 20 May to 26 November, 2023. The theme set by the curator appointed by La Biennale di Venezia, Lesley Lokko, was "The Laboratory of the Future".

Pavilion of Finland presented an exhibition critically reassessing our sanitation system in a time when the sufficiency of drinking water and food production is a global problem. By drawing from Finnish cultural heritage – huussi is the Finnish word for a composting toilet commonly used in rural settings and holiday homes – the exhibition questioned the so far indisputable position of the current water-based sanitation system and aimed to inspire architects and experts to start looking for alternative solutions, to better serve the world we inhabit today.

The exhibition was conceived by The Dry Collective, comprising Curator, Architect and Artist Arja Renell (FI), Graphic Designer Antero Jokinen (FI) and Architects Eero Renell (FI), Barbara Motta (IT), Emmi Keskisarja (FI) and Janne Teräsvirta (FI).

The exhibition was accompanied by a publication, Death to the flushing toilet, published by Arvinius + Orfeus Publishing.

Watch the exhibition's video works (English subtitles on available on YouTube):

The future history of sanitation (4:24)
Production company: Breakfast
Director: Pekka Hara
Producer: Henkka Hämäläinen
Writers: Antero Jokinen, Arja Renell and Jonathan Mander

Recycing nutrients (6:13)
Production company: Breakfast
Producer: Henkka Hämäläinen
Writers: Arja Renell, Antero Jokinen and Jonathan Mander

The urban challenge (4:31)
Production company: Breakfast
Producer: Henkka Hämäläinen
Writers: Arja Renell, Antero Jokinen & Jonathan Mander

The picture shows the book "Death to the flushing toilet". There is a blue wooden wall in the background.

Get your own copy of the Huussi publication

The Huussi exhibition is accompanied by a 112-page book entitled Death to the flushing toilet (Arvinius + Orfeus 2023). Edited by the exhibition curator Arja Renell, the publication contains thirteen expert articles going deep into subjects such as the history of sanitation, the recycling of nutrients, and new urban scale sanitation solutions. The publication can be purchased online at the publisher's webstore (25 €).

Learn more and buy

Biennale Architettura 2021: New Standards

New Standards, the Pavilion of Finland's exhibition in the previous Biennale Architettura in 2021, was also selected through an open call organised by Archinfo. Curated by Laura Berger (FI), Philip Tidwell (US) and Kristo Vesikansa (FI), the exhibition revisited a moment of history when architects and industry came together to address the urgent question of resettling Karelian refugees. The new approaches to pre-fabricated housing introduced by Puutalo Oy (Timber Houses Ltd.) not only modernised Finland’s construction industry but also became a worldwide export: In the 1940s and 50s, Puutalo houses were exported to more than 30 countries around the globe.

Video presentation of the New Standards exhibition (6 min).

08 aalto pavilion ugo carmeni 2021

New Standards online

You can get to know our 2021 Biennale Architettura exhibition on the project's website.

Go to newstandards.info

Biennale Architettura 2018: Mind-Building

In 2018, the Pavilion of Finland presented the exhibition Mind-Building, curated by Anni Vartola and produced by Archinfo. The exhibition was a study of over 100 years of Finnish library architecture, leading up to the opening of the new Helsinki Central Library Oodi in December 2018.

Photos on the wall

Mind-Building catalogue

The publication had a central role in our 2018 library architecture exhibition.

Read the Mind-Building catalogue

About the Biennale Architettura in Venice

The International Architecture Exhibition has been organised in Venice since 1980. It alternates with the International Art Exhibition, which was established in 1895. The architecture exhibition has developed into the most esteemed international arena for showcasing architecture, with almost than 300,000 visitors in 2023.

In addition to the national pavilion, Finland is present in the Biennale Architettura in other ways, too. The Nordic Pavilion is jointly commissioned by the Museum of Finnish Architecture, Sweden’s National Centre for Architecture and Design ArkDes and The National Museum of Norway, taking turns in the lead. In 2025, Finland will be in charge of the joint pavilion. 

Some Finnish architects have also been invited to participate in the Main Exhibition and Collateral Events. We compile all information about Finnish participations at the Biennale Architettura. If your works are presented in conjunction to the biennale, please let us know!