women looking at archtiectural model
The gallery focusing on the housing projects of architecture practice Maccreanor Lavington. ©

David Grandorge

The British Council appointed the award-winning architecture critic Ellis Woodman to curate the British Pavilion for the 11th Venice Architecture Biennale. 

In Home/Away: Five British Architects Build Housing in Europe, Woodman examined how five contemporary British architects were beginning to address the question of housing both in the UK and in other European countries. All five architects, de Rijke Marsh Morgan (dRMM), Maccreanor Lavington, Sergison Bates, Tony Fretton and Witherford Watson Mann, worked within the context of the generation gap that ensued when Britain’s programme of post-war reconstruction drew to a close in the 1970s. The exhibition considered the scale of Britain’s housing crisis and how to contribute to progressive architectural, social, commercial and legislative thinking.

The exhibition not only explored the roots of the British obsession with home ownership but the effect of the long-term domination of housing by private-sector developers in the UK.

"Home/Away presents the work of five British architects who are building housing both in their own country and on the continent. The far-flung success of the group suggests that, for all the challenges of our native condition, British experience may yet offer lessons for other countries. "
Ellis Woodman, curator of the British Pavilion, 2008

The exhibition presented examples of the five architects' work in the UK and Europe, side-by-side, as a way of interrogating the cultural differences at play. 

Explore the exhibition:

archtiectural model in orange and yellow
The gallery focusing on the housing projects by architectural practice dRMM. ©

David Grandorge

man in exhbition surrounded by architecural models
The gallery focusing on the housing projects of architecture practice Sergison Bates. ©

David Grandorge

brown architecural model in white gallery
The housing projects of architect Tony Fretton. ©

David Grandorge

photograph of housing development next to architectural model in white gallery
The housing projects of architecture practice Witherford Watson Mann. ©

David Grandorge

man walking in front of British Pavilion
Ellis Woodman, curator of Home/Away at the British Pavilion, 2008 ©

David Grandorge

The Advisory panel: 

  • David Chipperfield
  • Farshid Moussavi
  • Edwin Heathcote, Financial Times Architecture Correspondent
  • Francesca Ferguson, Director of SAM Basel
  • Deyan Sudjic, Director of the Design Museum

Curator: Ellis Woodman
Commissioner: Emily Campbell and Catherine Ince from the Design and Architecture team at the British Council.