Do you always come to the biennale?
GL: By coincidence I came to the first one in like 1980 or so. I was a student – barely in college and just happened to be in Venice. The next one was after I had been working for Peter Eisenmann -I had just quit but he had me help with the organisation, which meant that I spent about 3 weeks in Venice then. That’s when I really got to know the biennale.
EJ: I’ve been coming regularly – I’ve been about 6 times. I would miss it if I didn’t. It’s nice to see what architects put together and it is a social event. I am only here for two days – I’ve come for the Schumacher and Hadid talk and was invited by the RIBA to a symposium about Le Corbusier.
Is it important to be here from the American perspective to see what’s going on and to be seen?
GL: Indeed, it’s the one big event. A lot of American architects will not get on the plane to come here if they are not in it. The journalistic scene is probably thinner than its ever been, but the few magazines are all here and covering it. They are hosting things and having parties. The strange thing is that they sponsor everything: the American pavilion has been done by Bob Ivy and now the Architects’ Newspaper…it would be like Wallpaper* sponsoring the British pavilion. I find it totally ridiculous.
Do you think the Biennale is a big thing for the international architecture calendar?
It is good to digest what this generation has achieved. It’s also an international meeting point – if there is another that is as important then I don’t know of it. Also, it is a great place to meet old friends! I bumped into somebody at 2am in a tiny side street last night that I hadn’t seen for 10 years.