British Pavilion Biennale

The British council came to Brooks Murray with a brief to refurbish and upgrade the British Pavillion in the Giardini Biennale.  Originaly built in 1887 as a café/restaurant by the British architect Edwin Rickards in 1907. Although the pavilions structure and fabric were basically sound, there had been progressive deterioration over the years, owing to wear and tear and the general problems maintaining an occasionally used building.


British Pavilion, Venice

Build Cost


Client Name

The British Council

The British council commissioned British architects to look at ways to reverse the general decline of the building and fabric and consider options for upgrading safety, accessibility and public amenities.

Their report recommended an integrated package of works to bring the building up to a standard and provided a schedule of planned maintenance to protect the building in the future. Brooks/Murray were asked to assemble a joint UK/Italian design team to develop a project for completion in early 1995.

The external form of the building and main exhibition floor was restored to respect the existing architectural features.

Other works to the building included provision of access for the disabled; improving stability of the existing fabric; installation of wc and office; provision of basic kitchen for corporate entertainment; opening up of lower floor to provide additional exhibition space; upgrading of all services; provision of fire alert system and re-roofing.

A key aspect of the works was the design and selection of materials to permit ease of maintenance and reduced running costs.