The history of the Venice Biennale, one of the most important international manifestations in the field of contemporary Visual Arts and Architecture, goes back to 1895. Ever since and virtually without interruption every other year the Biennale has been a meeting point where artists, critics, collectors and the public at large become acquainted with current developments in the arts.
Since 1954 the Netherlands have possessed a unique monument of modern architecture in the Biennale grounds, the Giardini di Castello. Gerrit Rietveld, by order of the Netherlands Government, designed the pavilion. From the outside the pavilion looks angular, robust; inside there is space and light. Ever since, he lucid space created by Rietveld has been the setting for the Netherlands entries to the Biennale. On every occasion the building acquitted itself of its task in a exemplary fashion, but it was a heavy task, which left deep marks. The building was not only hard hit by its incidental extensive use. Also the long periods of disuse and the abundant rainfall, which can occur in Venice, have taken their toll. Therefore on the occasion of the 1993 Biennale a fundamental restoration was completed intended to make more intensive use of the pavilion in future. Apart from the Biennales it can also be used for other cultural events, such as manifestations, presentations and receptions etc.
The building will all the time be an exponent of the Netherlands Architectural Heritage. The architecture of Rietveld and his contemporaries has won great international prestige. The pavilion will therefore permanently be an appropriate setting for the presentation of the Netherlands culture in its broadest sense.