Member News: Michael Burch Architects to Exhibit at 13th International Venice Architectural Biennale
Last Updated: August 15, 2012
Of the multitude of architects the Venice Biennale has honored, only a handful have done traditional architecture, and of those few the firm Michael Burch Architects is the first specializing in the Spanish Colonial/Mediterranean Revival Style. The husband and wife firm, comprising principals Michael Burch and Diane Wilk, is one of five American firms selected to exhibit in the Palazzo Bembo at the 13th International Venice Architectural Biennale. This prestigious fall exhibition, which runs from August 29-November 25, presents 60 architects from six continents, representing 26 countries from around the world.
L A Times architectural critic, Christopher Hawthorne, has called the Biennale-a cultural institution since 1895-"...the most anticipated and ambitious design show in the world, not to mention the only one featuring cocktail parties in canal-side palazzi..." The exhibition at the Palazzo Bembo is entitled, "Traces of the Past and Future Steps" and the firm was selected as the premier practitioner of the Spanish Colonial/Mediterranean Revival Style.
This historical architectural thread that began in the Mediterranean and traveled across the Atlantic to the US now returns to the Mediterranean from the Pacific coast where, over two centuries ago, Spanish Colonial Architecture was introduced to Southern California. The firm will present a multi-media exhibit "California's Spanish Architecture: Yesterday and Today", which weaves the story of how the Style emigrated and evolved into the quintessential Californian buildings seen today. Selections from the firm's portfolio of recent projects are also showcased. The exhibit includes a model, generated using satellite imagery, which shows the pervasiveness of the Style, both vintage and modern, in the Greater Los Angeles area.
Michael Burch Architects refers to its work as "Returning to Authenticity" because the more modern versions of the style have, "devolved into kitsch," said Michael Burch. Their work clearly embodies those aspects of the Style as it was practiced in the 1920s and 30s. As leading experts in the Spanish Colonial/Mediterranean Revival style, Michael Burch Architects is acknowledged for both historically accurate restoration and renovation work. The widely published firm is also creating exciting 21st century estates and houses in the traditional vernacular which Burch and Wilk said they are proud to be able to share in such prestigious company.
Visit www.michaelburcharchitects.com to find out more about the firm and click on the link to see the video, "California's Spanish Architecture: Yesterday and Today"