PHOTO: The culture of the swimming pool will be at the centre of Australia's exhibition at the Venice Architecture Biennale

The Pool, a concept. Australian Institute of Architects

The swimming pool as a cultural symbol will form the foundation of the Australian exhibition at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, the premier architectural forum in the world.

The exhibition design winner — The Pool by Aileen Sage and Michelle Tabet — was announced tonight at Australian Institute of Architects events in Sydney and Melbourne.

Visitors will be transported poolside through an immersive multi-sensory experience within the new Denton Corker Marshall-designed pavilion in Venice.

The Venice 2016 Creative Team: (l-r) Amelia Holliday, Michelle Tabet, Isabelle Toland. Image: Alex Mayes

Sight, scent, sound, reflection and perspective will create a series of perceptual illusions, bringing to Venice a suggestion of a particular Australian architectural condition.

Some of Australia’s most remarkable pools, be they natural or man-made, inland or coastal, temporary or permanent, will also be profiled as part of the exhibition.

“From pools of necessity to the pools of excess, the pool is a key architectural device, a memory and also a setting,” the new creative directors said. “It has the unique ability to evoke both the sacred and the profane and also aptly represents a distinctively Australian democratic and social space – a great leveller of difference.”

Aileen Sage is a Sydney based architectural practice founded by Isabelle Toland and Amelia Holliday.

The pair teamed up with Michelle Tabet, an urban strategist heading her own boutique consulting practice, to develop the winning concept.

The 2016 Biennale sees the architecture exhibition in the new Australian Pavilion open in May.

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