b210 is an architecture office with a think tank approach to everyday spatial challenges. We believe that positive change in the built environment is driven by a smart design process where architectural ideas are as important as methods of developing them. We like to design ways of thinking as much as physical spaces.

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Venice Biennale 2023 Estonian Pavilion: Home Stage

The Estonian Pavilion for the 18th Venice Architecture Biennale.

A rental apartment in Venice
Salizada Streta 96, 30122 Venice, Italy

May 18th – November 29th
Wednesday to Sunday
12:00–20:00, free entrance

The Estonian exhibition explores the contradiction between the living place as a home and as an exchange value. A succession of Estonian performers will dwell a month, individually, in a Venetian rental apartment that becomes both an abode and a stage. Everyday life, lived and performed in a duet with the apartment rolls out in front of, and among, visitors to the Biennale. Come over!

Two-faced domesticity

All around us are embodied the contradictions between homes and real estates, dreams and realities, tenants and owners, residents and visitors. Housing is not just about living: investment and speculation have become the primary purpose of more and more dwellings, as real estate and rental prices continue to grow. City centres are made up of ‘money columns’ where living itself has become redundant. Avoiding depreciation by limiting use leads to homes that have owners but no occupants. Elsewhere, there are residents who struggle to become owners. The sense of stability of the home as an intimate space of one’s own, a place for family history and material biography, is in contrast to the flexible and temporary nature of real estate, of rapid buy-and-sell markets – ‘home’ as disposable lifestyle product.

Home Stage

Home on display is a common sight. Ever looked for somewhere to live? Ever been given a tour of someone’s new place? Prospective homes are staged for us – to invite a feeling of comfort, to please us aesthetically, or even to intimidate. Or are we buying dreams? In someone’s home – a space of intimate relationships – a wider set of market relations is revealed.

Who are you? Are you a home-seeker on a house tour? A guest at a private housewarming party? An architectural explorer? A curious neighbour? An amateur investor?

Hello! Come in, come in!

Sorry, don’t mind the hallway, it’s in a constant state of renovation, but at least that will keep the place looking new! Let me show you the bedroom. Isn’t the water calming! I feel like I have all the time in the world, so relaxing… Look at the view from here! That alone is easily worth a million! Come on, come along! Bathroom! Oh yes, there was one time when all the pipes in the bathroom burst – ah, those were joyful fountains! This has all been fixed, of course – we have high-quality technical systems now! This way, let me open the door for you. Ah, the dust fluff dancing in the sunshine, ha ha – you know, the soul of the house! Let’s head back to the living room, I’m sure you’d like a drink!

Domestic / Model

Warm bath / Cold deal

Bed sheets / Spreadsheets

Depression / Growth

Modern / Maintenance

In the installation-performance Home Stage, contradictory actions take place in an apartment, among other things: at the housewarming party, the cold deal which led to the new home is revealed; outgoings and returns are feverishly counted in the hallway; bed sheets and spreadsheets are cuddled in the bedroom where work and rest go hand in hand; domestic life takes place under the public eye. The home – intimate living space of one’s own – is ultimately reduced to calculated real estate.

What is the value of ‘home’? Does architecture provide a shelter for the body or for money? Do homes secure people or investments?

Curators and authors:
Aet Ader, Arvi Anderson, Mari Möldre

Liisa Saaremäel (stager and performer)
Keithy Kuuspu (stager and performer)
Arolin Raudva (performer)
Kirill Havanski (performer)
Anumai Raska (performer)
Külli Teetamm (performer)
Eline Selgis (performer)
Paula Veidenbauma (performer)
Johhan Rosenberg (performer)
Jan Kaus (dramatist)
Kadri Klementi (publication texts)
Margus Tammik (technical solutions)
Markus Robam (sound designer)
Kairi Mändla (scenographer)
Kertin Vasser (photographer)
Jekaterina Abramova (video)


Estonian Centre for Architecture

Anna Lindpere, Anu Lill

Graphic design:
Stuudio Stuudio


International press:
mintLIST, press@mintlist.info

Estonian press:
Estonian Centre of Architecture
Stina Pley, stina@arhitektuurikeskus.ee

Cultural Endowment of Estonia
Estonian Ministry of Culture


Thanks: Eik Hermann, Viljar Arakas, Karin Tõugu, Mari Hunt, Katrin Koov, Kristian Taaksalu, Nele Šverns

25. septembrist 2013 24. septembrini 2014 aitas OÜ-l b210 põhivara ja rakendustarkvara soetada Ettevõtluse Arendamise Sihtasutuse alustava ettevõtja starditoetuse programm.