Common Pavilions

Common Pavilions

The National Pavilions in the Giardini of the Venice Biennale in Essays and Photographs

A unique panorama of the Venice Biennial's 29 national pavilions in previously unpublished images by the Italian photographer Gabriele Basilico, and in essays by around 30 international architects, philosophers and artists.


  • Out of Print


Title Information

Edited by Diener & Diener Architects with Gabriele Basilico. Photographs by Gabriele Basilico

1st edition

, 2013

Text English and 23 other languages


288 pages, 67 duotone illustrations, 60 floor and site plans

25 x 39 cm

ISBN 978-3-85881-734-1


Common Pavilions is based on an exhibition curated by Diener & Diener Architects within the 13th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennial in 2012. Architecture’s social and cultural reality was the theme of the 2012 exhibition, titled «Common Ground». Bringing the architectural significance of the 29 national pavilions to the attention of visitors, who usually do not really notice these buildings and their individual character and atmosphere when seeing an exhibition there, was the aim of the Common Pavilions project.
The celebrated Italian photographer Gabriele Basilico (1944–2013) has taken pictures of all the pavilions in the Giardini di Venezia. His masterful images are featured in large-format and lavish duotone printing. 30 authors from all 29 nations – architects, philosophers, and artists – have contributed short essays, writing on “their” national pavilion, its history and its identity as a space for presenting art. The essays appear in the book in English and in their original national language. Basilico’s images and the essays merge into a rich and atmospheric panorama of what is probably the world’s best known exhibition site.

A selection of Gabriele Basilico's photographs is on display at Galerie Aedes Am Pfefferberg in Berlin.


Common Pavilions won a gold medal in the 2014 German Photo Book Award.


Designed by Robert & Durrer.


Introduction by Roger Diener and essays by Vito Acconci, Arnfinn Bø-Rygg, Monica Bonvicini, Alexander Brodsky, Eduard Bru i Bistuer, Dinu Bumbaru, Jean-Louis Cohen, Peter Cook, Hermann Czech, Marcelo Danza, Bogdan Ghiu, Amos Gitai & Ben Gitai, Jörg Haspel, Herman Hertzberg, Taro Igarachi, Zissis Kotionis & Elia Zenghelis, Marcel Meili, Henrieta Moravčíkova, Hyungmin Pai, Andras Palffy, Juhani Pallasmaa, Regina Silveira, Martin Steinmann, Peter Stutchbury, Adam Szymczyk & Monika Sosnowska, Carsten Thau, Milica Topalovic, Bart Verschaffel, Henry Vicente, and Tarek Waly

Authors & Editors

Vito Acconci

Gabriele Basilico

 (1944–2013) ranks among the most celebrated Italian photographers. His work has been shown in many exhibitions and books, including Porti di mare (1990), Italy: Cross-Sections of a Country (1998), Berlin (2001), and Vertical Moscow (2008).

Monica Bonvicini

Arnfinn Bø-Rygg

Alexander Brodsky

Eduard Bru i Bistuer

Dinu Bumbaru

Jean-Louis Cohen

Peter Cook

Hermann Czech

, born 1936, lives and works as an architect and architectural publicist and critic in Vienna. He has taught as a visiting professor at University of Applied Arts Vienna, (1985–86), Harvard Graduate School of Design (1988–89 and 1993–94), ETH Zurich (2004–07), and Technische Universität Wien (2008–09), and has published widely.

Marcelo Danza

Roger Diener

, born 1950, is an architect educated at ETH Zurich and EPFL in Lausanne and a principal with Diener & Diener Architects in Basel. He taught as a Professor of Design at EPFL 1987–89 and as a Professor of Architecture and Design at ETH Zurich and at ETH Studio Basel 1999–2015. He has also been a visting professor at Harvard University and at universities in Vienna, Amstardam, and Copenhagen.

Diener & Diener Architekten

 is a Swiss architectural firm with offices in Basel and Berlin. Among their best-known projects are the restoration and extension of the Swiss embassy in Berlin, the refurbishment of the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin, and the Forum 3 building on the new campus of Swiss pharmaceuticals company Novartis in Basel.

Bogdan Ghiu

Amos Gitai

Ben Gitai

Jörg Haspel

Herman Hertzberg

Taro Igarachi

Zissis Kotionis

Marcel Meili

 (1953-2019), studied architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (1973–1980). In 1987, he formed an office in Zurich together with Markus Peter. He was teaching as a professor at the Faculty of Architecture of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich since 1999.

Henrieta Moravčíkova

Hyungmin Pai

Andras Palffy

Juhani Pallasmaa

Regina Silveira

Monika Sosnowska

Martin Steinmann

 (1942-2022), architect, obtained his PhD in history and theory of architecture at ETH Zurich. He taught as a visiting professor at MIT, at EPFL in Lausanne, and at various schools of architecture. He was editor with archithese magazine 1980-86, and published widely on modern and contemporary architecture.

Peter Stutchbury

Adam Szymczyk

 (*1970), director of Kunsthalle Basel since 2003. Co-founded the Foksal Gallery Foundation in Warsaw in 1997 and curated the 5th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art together with Elena Filipovic in 2008.

Carsten Thau

Milica Topalović

Bart Verschaffel

Henry Vicente

Tarek Waly

Elia Zenghelis