Titled Fundamentals, the Koolhaas-directed Biennale promises to be "about architecture, not architects". Rem Koolhaas remarked how "after several Biennales dedicated to the celebration of the contemporary, Fundamentals will focus on histories — on the inevitable elements of all architecture used by any architect, anywhere, anytime (the door, the floor, the ceiling etc.) and on the evolution of national architectures in the last 100 years. In three complementary manifestations – taking place in the Central Pavilion, the Arsenale, and the National Pavilions – this retrospective will generate a fresh understanding of the richness of architecture's fundamental repertoire, apparently so exhausted today."
"In 1914, it made sense to talk about a "Chinese" architecture, a "Swiss" architecture, an "Indian" architecture," Koolhaas continued. "One hundred years later, under the influence of wars, diverse political regimes, different states of development, national and international architectural movements, individual talents, friendships, random personal trajectories and technological developments, architectures that were once specific and local have become interchangeable and global. National identity has seemingly been sacrificed to modernity."
"By telling the history of the last 100 years cumulatively, the exhibitions in the National Pavilions will generate a global overview of architecture's evolution into a single, modern aesthetic," remarked the Dutch architect, "and at the same time uncover within globalization the survival of unique national features and mentalities that continue to exist and flourish even as international collaboration and exchange intensify…"
Koolhaas will use the early announcement and the extra year he has been given to introduce a degree of coordination and coherence among the National Pavilions