The heart of Europe with its Parliament has always resided in Belgium and it is precisely for this reason that this year for the 16th Architecture Biennale it was decided to host the whole of Europe with its ideas in the Pavilion; we did not stop at just the pavilion because the sensitivity to this theme is also visible on the facades of the Spanish and Dutch paglioni, which this year with Belgium decided to open an open call where the luminous sign "EUROPA" won on the others, transmitting a message that goes beyond the few months in which the Architecture Biennale is held. The message that the Pavilion wants to convey is clear: Europe belongs to all the countries that make it up and the divisions that characterize it today will one day be superfluous.

The rules in the pavilion are simple, indeed there is only one, take off your shoes in order to enter.

Staying with bare feet on the ground means walking inside without distinction, between me and the person next to me, because this is not important.

A large circular arena of blue color, which leaves room only for white walls and ceilings, composes the space; here it is possible to move anywhere without limits, the only interruptions are given by passages of various heights that break the continuity of the arena creating in fact seven distinct niches that refer to a larger space that contains them all. Everyone is free to do what they want within each space, there are guys playing the game of catch-up between the steps of the arena and two ladies who have fun crossing the passages between one niche and another, starting from the lowest to the highest, observing how the perception of space changes from one place to another.

The meanings are multiple and are perceived as you cross the arena. At the lowest point, as in the European Parliament, there is only room for 27 people and from here the space seems more closed and less accessible; from above, on the contrary, the situation changes, you are outside, the spaces seem infinite and you have the impression that around every corner you can find any kind of surprise; here many more people can sit and in the upper steps there are as many free seats that can be occupied by anyone without distinction.

A free place, accessible to anyone, where there is space for all those who need a home, where they can move freely without prejudice of any kind; this is what the Eurotopie project wants to convey to its visitors, remembering that all this is possible.


There may be small difficulties along the way but everything can be solved to achieve the final goal, to ensure that this utopia is brought to fruition, becoming a reality that we are already partially living today.

Step by step, step by step, the goal is getting closer, just believe it. Here we talk about identity, perhaps forgotten today, but still alive, which must be strengthened more and more trying to never lose sight of the goal because the result will be surprising.

At the end of my tour I find myself sitting here, on one of these steps, observing the people who pass and those who continue to play and I wonder how long it takes to start this new adventure.


Location: Giardini dell'Arsenale, Venice

Commissioner: Fédération Wallonie-Brussels

Curators: Traumnovelle & Roxane Le Grelle

Exhibitors: Traumnovelle & Roxane Le Grelle

in collaboration with Bruce Bégout, Philippe Braquenier, Sébastien Lacomblez, Dennis Pohl, Claire Trottignon & 6'56 "(Jurgen Maelfeyt)

- Lorenzo MORELLI -

Entrance to the Belgium Pavilion © Lorenzo Morelli for WMMQ

View of a niche - Belgian Pavilion © Lorenzo Morelli for WMMQ

Kids playing the catch game - Belgium Pavilion © Lorenzo Morelli for WMMQ