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

Finland in the International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia

A crowd in front of a white building with text "la Biennale" and a red and metal installation serving as a canopy.

Pavilion Days in September

Organised for the second time by the Global Commissioners Group, Pavilion Days is an opportunity to hear about the exhibitions from their creators, take part in the exciting side programme and strengthen the international architectural network – and of course enjoy autumn in Venice!

Along with fifteen other countries, the Pavilion of Finland organises the two-day festival on 14–15 September 2023. The programme includes joint pavilion tours hosted by curators and organisers of national participations, guided tours of the Huussi exhibition and a mini-seminar at Palazzo Trevisan degli Ulivi, which will also be streamed.

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Appointed by the Ministry of Education and Culture, Archinfo is in charge of Finland's national participation in the Biennale Architettura in Venice. In 2023, Archinfo presents The Dry Collective's exhibition Huussi – Imagining the future history of sanitation.

The 18th International Architecture Exhibition is organised from 20 May to 26 November, 2023. Curator Lesley Lokko, appointed by La Biennale di Venezia, has chosen "The Laboratory of the Future" as the theme of this year's Biennale.

In 2023, the Pavilion of Finland presents Huussi – Imagining the future history of sanitation, an exhibition which critically reassesses our sanitation system at 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 outhouse, a composting toilet commonly used by Finns in rural settings and holiday homes – the exhibition questions the so far indisputable position of the current water-based sanitation system and aims to inspire architects and experts to start looking for alternative solutions, to better serve the world we inhabit today.

Watch the videos presented in the exhibition (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 exhibition is accompanied by a publication, Death to the flushing toilet, published by Arvinius + Orfeus Publishing.

The exhibition is 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 concept was selected through an open call process by a selection panel comprising Curator Taru Elfving (FI), Professor and Director Andres Lepik (DE) and Architect Helena Sandman (FI). The panel was chaired by Commissioner Katarina Siltavuori, Director of Archinfo Finland.

The Dry Collective (from left): Barbara Motta, Eero Renell, Arja Renell, Janne Teräsvirta, Antero Jokinen and Emmi Keskisarja. photo: Pertti Nisonen / Archinfo
The exhibition has been supported by:
Linda katalogi IMG 3048

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.

27 aalto pavilion 2018

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 more than 300,000 visitors in 2021.

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!