The Biggest Event in Contemporary Art and Architecture

Screen Shot 2018-06-02 at 9.12.31 PM.png

In the art world, there are only two “Biennials” that matter: The Whitney’s in New York, and the original, founded in 1895, the magnificent, La Biennale di Venezia, an international extravaganza of contemporary visual art. It is the Olympics of the art world.

As exclusive partner and official timepiece for the third year in a row, Rolex opened the International Architecture Exhibition inside their watchband-inspired structure. They celebrated the end of one fruitful Mentor-Protégé partnership, part of the Rolex Arts Initiative between Sir David Chipperfield and Simon Kretz and inaugurated another, between Sir David Adjaye and Mariam Kamara.

Screen Shot 2018-06-02 at 9.12.58 PM.png

Chipperfield and Kretz’s year-long collaboration resulted in a book: On Planning – A Thought Experiment. Published with support from Rolex and ETH Zurich, the book explores how to create cities that promote well-being through greater inclusiveness and innovative thinking.

This year’s protégé, Nigerian architect Mariam Kamara recently visited the Rolex facilities in Geneva and didn’t fail to notice the similarities between watchmaking and architecture. “It was great to see the commonality in both activities,” she explained. “The emphasis on precision, excellence and attention to detail is very similar.”

If you think about it, watches are kind of like buildings in the miniature. It would be quite something to tour the inside of a Rolex as if it were a giant clock tower. An architectural endeavor for another day.