Focus on sustainability: Volkswagen Group supports German Pavilion and grand neighbourhood festival of Venice’s 18th International Architecture Biennale


The 18th International Architecture Biennale opens in Venice on 20 May 2023. The Volkswagen Group is a partner of the curatorial team of the German Pavilion and supports the pavilion concept ‘Open for Maintenance – Wegen Umbau geöffnet’, which focuses on sustainable approaches to building construction and urban development. For the first time, the citizens of Venice as well as local and social initiatives will be invited to a grand neighbourhood festival on the eve of the opening to get in contact with artists and experts. Federal Building Minister Klara Geywitz takes part as commissioner of the German Pavilion. In March, materials for the pavilion were sustainably transported from Leipzig to Venice in an ID. Buzz Cargo.

The German contribution to this year’s Biennale takes up curator Lesley Lokko’s chosen theme, ‘The Laboratory of the Future’, with a multilayered conception of the term ‘laboratory’ – including as a workshop in an actual sense. The German Pavilion is orienting itself to local needs and is being transformed into a site of collaborative everyday life. In this spirit, citizens of Venice, artists and Venetian initiatives will come together for the first time in a grand neighbourhood festival on 19 May. The goal is to jointly discuss the interplay of sustainable habitats and resource use and to establish connections between local social initiatives and experts. In the framework of its international cultural engagement, the Volkswagen Group is a partner of the German Pavilion and of the neighbourhood festival.

Benita von Maltzahn, Head of Global Cultural Engagement at the Volkswagen Group: ‘We need spaces in which to live and work, but above all in which to generate ideas. Rethinking how we give shape to these spaces while placing the highest priority on using resources sustainably is one of the greatest challenges of our time. We’re thrilled that we can support the curatorial team of the German Pavilion in opening this topic up for critical artistic and creative examination among a broad public in Venice.’

The curators of the German Pavilion say about their idea: “Transforming the way we build toward sustainability does not depend on changes of economic, financial and legislative frameworks. We have to empower the people to take responsibility for designing their living environment according to social and ecological principles. And that is why the German contribution to the International Architecture Exhibition 2023 also covers questions and solutions discussed by people in Venice, and it promotes the process of making. The support of Volkswagen Group helps us to connect ideas and people in Venice so that our work resonates beyond the Biennale.”

The Volkswagen Group has supported the curators of the German Pavilion since the start of their work on the project. Among other things, the Group provided an all-electric Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo1 so that the team could bring equipment and materials for the pavilion workshop from Germany to Italy in a resource-saving manner. For the period of the Biennale, the workshop will serve as the basis for various Venetian and international initiatives and institutions of higher education to engage in the maintenance of socio-spatial structures on-site through 1:1 interventions. The German contribution to the exhibition was conceived by the curatorial team of ARCH+ I SUMMACUMFEMMER I BÜRO JULIANE GREB. The curators were selected in an open competitive process under the direction of the German Federal Ministry for Housing, Urban Development and Building.

Volkswagen Cultural Engagement
As a promoter of art and culture, the Volkswagen Group supports institutions and actors in enabling impactful and multilayered encounters between the artistic and public spheres, as well as innovative offerings in cultural education. The Group is especially dedicated to providing opportunities for as many people as possible to get to know artistic standpoints, exchange with one another and, through this, to gain new perspectives. These dialogues are essential for the development of creativity, innovation and strengthened social understanding.

1 ID. Buzz Cargo – power consumption in kWh/100 km: combined 22.2–20.4 (WLTP); CO₂ emissions in g/km: combined 0; efficiency class: A+++; WLTP range: 402–425 km.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here