Venice has hosted an international art fair since the late 19th century, the Biennale di Venezia. Unlike its equivalent in the world of sports, the Olympics, the Biennale always occurs in the same venue, the Giardini della Biennale, a lagoon-side park created by Napoleon Bonaparte. Most of the exhibits occur in either the park's Central Pavilion, and, more recently, in the nearby Arsenale, a converted shipyard. But a lucky few countries have pavilions of their own in the Giardini, many of them designed by world-renowned architects, such as Alvar Aalto (Finland), Delano & Aldrich (U.S.), Josef Hoffmann (Austria), and Gerrit Rietveld (the Netherlands).
Now Australia joins the select few with the opening of its own national pavilion, designed by Melbourne-based Denton Corker Marshall. The cubic concrete-and-steel structure sits alongside the Rio del Giardini canal. Its opaque black-granite facade incorporates panels that can open or close according to curatorial necessity, allowing daylight into and views from the single, white cube gallery within.