The Pool: Architecture, Culture and Identity in Australia, the companion publication for Australia’s highly anticipated contribution to the Biennale Architettura 2016, was recently unveiled in Sydney.

Offering Australians a first look at The Pool ahead of the international event in Venice, Italy, the book was revealed by the Creative Directors of Australia’s exhibition during a special event at the Icebergs Dining Room and Bar in Sydney in the presence of Olympian Ian Thorpe, author Anna Funder and Indigenous art curator Hetti Perkins, who are all featured in the publication.

The book is designed to offer a richer experience of the exhibition, and explores the relationship between architecture and Australian cultural identity through personal anecdotes about one of the country’s most significant public spaces. Eight prominent Australians have shared their pool stories: Thorpe, Funder and Perkins were joined by Olympian Shane Gould, environmentalist Tim Flannery, fashion designers Romance was Born, author Christos Tsiolkas and musician Paul Kelly.

The Creative Directors said: “This publication is a compendium of our research and the stories our process revealed. We designed it to be accessible, visually appealing but also intimate in tone. While it should work as a standalone publication, we also wanted it to give visitors to the exhibition a deeper and more meaningful engagement with the themes we’re exploring.”

Speaking at the launch, Ian Thorpe noted that Australians have a very special relationship with water, which is shown in many different ways through the pool as an important social space in the country. He added that the Creative Team had done an amazing job at capturing that essence in the book. 

Image: The Pool: Architecture, Culture and Identity in Australia