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Venice Biennale of Architecture (Australian Pavillion)

By Elise Pioch Balzac
Posted in Collaborations, on June 10, 2016

May 2016 saw the opening of the Australian Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale of Architecture.

Australia’s national pavilion in Venice houses ‘The Pool‘, an installation designed by Sydney based architects Isabelle Toland and Amelia Holliday of Aileen Sage Architects and Michelle Tabet. 

The exhibition recreates a pool within the space through an immersive multi-sensory experience, transporting visitors poolside, using light, sound, and two  peculiarly Australian scents created by Maison Balzac. 

Visiting the pavilion in Venice, Ian Thorpe was particularly struck by the scent design (created by Sydney-based Maison Balzac with the artist duo Lyn & Tony), which he found powerfully evocative of outdoor Australian pools. “There are two smells,” he explains. “One that you’d associate with fresh rain: the slight smell of eucalyptus and decaying plant matter that you’d find in a wet natural environment. The other is the smell of smoke that you’d get after a bush fire, a smell we commonly associate in Australia with summer. The pool I swam in when I was training and where I put in most of my hours was right across the road from the national park — the smell of cut grass and rain and smoke took me right back.”

The New York Times Style magazine By