By Lindsey Olander
April 29, 2015
Courtesy of Denton Corker Marshall

It isn’t all about the Milan EXPO this month. Another major cultural event coming to Italy is the biannual Venice Biennale (May 9–November 22), one of the world’s most important exhibitions for contemporary art. The kick-off is over a week away, but the world is already buzzing about Australia’s new national pavilion—the first brand-new build for the Biennale in 20 years.

The sleek 21st-century waterfront structure in the historic Giardini gardens (home to 30 other pavilions) features an all-white interior for Australian mixed-media sculptor Fiona Hall’s hotly anticipated installation “Wrong Way Time,” which explores environmental issues. The project was a rare privilege for Melbourne-based design firm Denton Corker Marshall, whose hyper-modern build, which replaces the previous 1988 model, marks the first 21st-century building erected in the Giardini.

A favorite feature might be the adjustable panels on the building’s black-box façade, which opens and closes in accordance to whatever is being exhibited at the time. It is, at once, minimalist and malleable.

Lindsey Olander is an Assistant Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @lindseytravels.