Unfolding Pavilion: Rituals of Solitude

In the summer of 2020, a group of twelve architects spent one week of artistic residency locked inside of a ruined House built on a small island in the Venetian lagoon: one per room, in complete solitude.

The House was an almost exact replica of what was previously thought to be an unrealised project by John Hejduk: his House for the Inhabitant who Refused to Participate. Built in the 70’s by an eccentric Contessa, without Hejduk’s knowledge, the House was on its way of being demolished by the new owners. Their plan was to build a luxury glamping resort in its stead. The Unfolding Pavilion made an agreement with them, by signing a contract that allowed the temporary occupation of the House and the realisation of twelve site-specific installations inside of its rooms, on the condition that everything was to be kept secret before the demolition of the building took place. Everything went accordingly and sadly, in December 2020, the House was razed to the ground.

The incredible story of the replica of John Hejduk’s House for the Inhabitant Who Refused to Participate is the subject of Rituals of Solitude, a transmedial exhibition in three acts curated by Daniel Tudor Munteanu and Davide Tommaso Ferrando, on the occasion of the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale.

Conceived in the middle of the global lockdown, Rituals of Solitude is an expanding exhibition about the inversion of the traditional relationship between private and public space; about the paradoxical rituals by means of which homes are inhabited; about the ways in which visual technologies are domesticated and used as tools for self-representation and bonding; about the accumulation, fetishization and exhibition of objects in domestic interiors; and about the conditions of solitude that are generated by forced acts of isolation.

Unfolding Pavilion: Rituals of Solitude is organised in three acts:

Act I, presented in December 2020, is an online exhibition that documents the site-specific works produced during the residency in the House.

Act II is the offline and itinerant instance of the exhibition, first shown in Venice in May 2021 inside Contessa's former boat, moored at Punta della Dogana during the opening of the Architecture Biennale.

Act III, launched in January 2022, is a virtual environment that digitally reconstructs and reinterprets the spaces of the Venetian exhibition.


Daniel Tudor Munteanu (b. 1980) is an architect and curator based in Suceava, Romania. He has exhibited at the 5th Shenzhen Urbanism/Architecture Biennale, contributed to the ‘State of the Art of Architecture’ project for the 1st Chicago Architecture Biennial and to the U.S. Pavilion for the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale. His texts were published, among others, in San Rocco, Log, Volume or OASE. He has lectured in academic and cultural institutions including The Architecture Foundation in London, Genève’s HÉAD, the University of Melbourne, the Politecnico of Milano, Ljubljana’s MAO, Prague’s VI PER, the ÉAVT in Paris or the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava. Together with Davide Tomasso Ferrando, he initiated and co-curated the “Unfolding Pavilion” at the 15th, 16th and 17th Venice Architecture Biennale and will co-curate Beta 2022 Timișoara Architecture Biennial. Daniel is the founder and editor of the research project ‘OfHouses - a collection of old forgotten houses’.

Davide Tommaso Ferrando (b. 1980) is an architecture critic, curator and researcher particularly interested in the intersections between architecture, city and media. He is currently Research Fellow at the Faculty of Design and Art of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano. He has lectured in several institutions including La Biennale di Venezia, the University of Melbourne, The Berlage in Delft, the Architectural Association in London, and the ETSA Madrid. Together with Daniel Tudor Munteanu, he initiated and co-curated the Unfolding Pavilion at the 15th, 16th and 17th Venice Architecture Biennale and will co-curate Beta 2022 Timișoara Architecture Biennial. Director of Viceversa and editor of Realismoutopico, his writings are published in magazines such as The Architectural Review, Log, Casabella and Volume. In 2018, he published his first book: The City in the Image.


Curators: Daniel Tudor Munteanu, Davide Tommaso Ferrando Exhibition
Design and Model Making: ErranteArchitetture (Sarah Becchio & Paolo Borghino)
Web Design and Development, Sound Design: hund (Ernesto Bellei, Federico Bergonzini, Antonio Alessandro Di Cicco, Simone S. Melis), Andrea Cappi
Photography and Video: Laurian Ghinițoiu; Stefano Di Corato (atelier XYZ)
Illustrators: Giovanni Benedetti, Marialuisa Montanari
Graphic Design: Magda Vieriu & Octavian Hrebenciuc
Photogrammetry and Digitalization: Cenk Güzelis; Uwe Brunner
Narrator: Alina Mihăescu
Production: Marco Ballarin; Carnets (Matteo Vianello, Davide Cecconello, Caterina Barbon, Marco Andreatta); Elisabeta Rabiniuc Mocanu, Ana Victoria Munteanu