Opening Ceremony of the Greek Participation at the 14th Biennale of Architecture in Venice


Athens 9th of June 2014


The Commissioner of the Greek Participation at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia 2014, Yannis Aesopos had the pleasure to welcome you at the opening of the Greek Pavilion Tourism Landscapes: Remaking Greece on Friday June 6th 2014. 

The ceremony was attended by the Greek Minister of Tourism, Mrs Olga Kefalogianni, the Director of DEEAP & Representative of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Mrs Dora Galani, the Consul of Greece in Venice, Mr Simeon Linardakis, the President of the Greek Architects Association, Mrs Mirto Despotidi, the Director of the Hellenic Institute in Venice, Mr Georgios Ploumidis, the Archimandrite of Italy, Mr Evangelos Yfandidis, the Chief Officer of GNTO in Italy, Mrs Kyriaki Boulasidou,  the Investor Relation & Marketing Director at Dolphin Capital Investors, Mrs Katerina Katopi , the Development Director at LAMDA Development, Mr Zisimos Danilatos, the Deputy Development Director at LAMDA Development, Mr Dimitris Zontanos among others.

We would like to thank for one more time the European Union, Greek Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, EPPERAA, NSRF and the Greek Architects Association for the Organization, the Major Sponsors: Greek National Tourism Organization, Lamda Development, the Supporters: Athens International Airport, Costa Navarino, Grace Hotels, Dolphin Capital Investors, the Special Supporters: iGuzzini, L4A, Rigips, Photolab, WXYZ communication, Ktima efharis and the Media Partners:  Kathimerini, architects, Greek Architects, DOMES.

We would also like to thank Mrs Olga Kefalogianni who honored the Greek Participation of her presence, Mrs Katerina Katopi for organising a cocktail party at Aman Canal Grande, Venice, for the participants of the Greek mission and Mrs Kyriaki Boulasidou for organising such a successful opening ceremony.


The speeches from the opening ceremony:

Greek Minister of  Tourism, Mrs Olga Kefalogianni

''Ladies and gentlemen,

For a 10th time, Greece takes part in the Venice International Architecture Exhibition, perhaps the most important event for architecture worldwide.  The Greek participation in the 14th Biennale, directed by the National Commissioner, professor Yannis Aesopos, is titled "Tourism Landscapes: Remaking Greece".

It examines the role of tourism as a vehicle for the modernization and development of our country, through the construction of tourism landscapes, which include hotels and resorts, organized beaches, archaeological sites and museums, public spaces and general infrastructure. 

Furthermore, this exhibition hosts proposals by contemporary Greek and foreign architects for seaside tourism installations in the Aegean and the Ionian Sea. It puts forward the question: what will be the new architecture of tourism in the post-crisis era that is now ahead of us?

Architecture can be perceived as an essential part of heritage. Cultural heritage is a key element of attraction. It stimulates a desire for travel, it is indeed, a vital asset for international tourism. Needless to say that, particularly for our region, it is a predominant part of our tourism offering. Cultural heritage provides an essential framework of reference, a basis of reflection for the modern citizen, in a search for cultural and personal identity. It gives us a sense of history and continuity from the past to the present.

In a corresponding manner, we could suggest that modern architecture, also contributes to this end. Architecture provides a perspective on the future, a sense of confidence on ‘good things to come’ and there are many examples, in several places worldwide, where modern architecture has, among other things, evolved into a tourist asset.

From a tourism perspective, the ‘experience of place’ has, in recent times, become a key element in attracting tourists to a destination. This experience, is constituted by a composition of tourist assets: the cultural and natural landscape, the beaches, the sun, the hotels and resorts, the events and the other attractions but also by the broader context, which includes the level and quality of services, the opportunities for recreational and cultural activities, and a lot more.

The ‘image of a place’, that is, the ‘tourist landscape’, which is the main theme of Greece’s contribution to this year’s Biennale, is indeed part of the experience of travelling. For the Ministry of Tourism, the year 2014 marks an anniversary, since 100 years ago, in 1914, the Greek state established the "Bureau for Foreigners and Exhibitions". It was a first effort to create a public entity that would manage travel and tourism affairs of that time.

So, this exhibition comes at a very important year for the development of tourism in Greece. The 14th Biennale, is an ideal opportunity to reflect on how this architectural heritage can inspire us from this point and through the years ahead of us, and on how we can plan a sustainable future for our communities, with the help of modern architecture.

An architecture, that will constructively highlight the fundamental cultural and natural characteristics of a region, support the creation of a unique identity for a destination, as well as stimulate a feeling of optimism and “belonging” for visitors and locals.      

Thank you for your attention.''


Director of DEEAP & Representative of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Mrs Dora Galani

''Mrs Minister,
 Mr Consul,
 Mr Commissioner,
 Dear colleagues and Dear friends,

I have the pleasure and the honor to welcome all of you on behalf of the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change.

I would like to emphasize on the fact that this is the third Biennale organized by the Ministry and this one with collaboration with SADAS - PEA, the Greek Architects Association. We have the President, Mrs Myrto   Despotidi, among us.

So: We do care about architects and we try to promote architecture, architects and their ideas in every aspect of our lives and especially the crucial Greek industry that is tourism. It is the best opportunity to join our efforts with the subject of this pavilion " Tourism landscapes".

As the Director of the Department of the Ministry dealing with Urban renewals and Architectural Competitions (DEEAP/ YPEKA), being an architect myself, I wish that this Pavilion and all the projects involved are the opportunity to discover a different kind of tourism shelters and will be a post-crisis starting point.

We congratulate the curator and all the participants for their very interesting and innovative projects, shaping a successful future for architecture in Greece.

Thank you very much.''


Professor Elias Zenghelis, Advisor of the Greek Participation



Professor Yiannis Aesopos, Commissioner of the Greek Participation



Please follow the links below to download the pictures from the Greek Pavilion and the Opening Ceremony:


SLIDESHOW 01                  SLIDESHOW 02