The international architectural publisher Birkhäuser is proud to present the exhibition catalog for the Austrian Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale, which opened last Saturday. In line with the broader theme chosen for the festival – "Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014" – the exhibition at the Austrian Pavilion sheds a unique light on the world's national parliamentary buildings.
Titled Plenum: Places of Power, the catalog documents some 200 parliamentary buildings in a colorful swatch book format. Edited by the curator of the pavilion Christian Kühn, the catalog contains axiomatic projections, floor plans, short descriptions, and additional data about each structure.
"Today, the idea that power achieves legitimacy through democratic process is so widespread that governments are compelled at least in name to construct such buildings as representative assemblies of the people," says Ulrich Schmidt, Editorial Director of Birkhäuser. "The work is an exciting exploration of political architecture."
By exposing and comparing various architectural solutions, the catalog illustrates the messages that parliamentary buildings hope to transmit, whether it be national identity, permanence, conformance with historical tradition, or the spirit of a new beginning.
Birkhäuser is also proud to present Special Issue 27 of UmBau, the official journal of the Austrian Society for Architecture. In addition to documenting Austria's contribution to the Architecture Biennale, the special issue contains essays that engage on a fundamental level with the topic "Places of Power."