This year at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, the Collateral Event M9 / Transforming the City will unveil an influential urban regeneration project planned for the heart of Venezia Mestre. Envisioned by British-Berlin practice Sauerbruch Hutton, the competition-winning design will be a new “multifaceted and encyclopedic” cultural center of “international appeal” that showcases the “fundamental” 100 years that “revolutionized the world."
The exhibition will pair a complete architectural presentation of the project alongside the political motives behind it and an overview of the site's history as an attempt to spark a “theoretical digression on the links between cultural institutions and urban-regeneration projects.”
More about the project, after the break...
As the architects describe, “the M9 project is a national and international model combining cultural production, museum activities and innovative retail strategies that will establish a new standard of urban excellence and act as a catalyst for the regeneration of Mestre city centre." It is comprised of a mixed set of buildings - a new museum, a restored 17th-century convent and a renovated 1960s’ office building - and will the first museum in Europe dedicated to 20th century history and culture.
It will consist of "one main building flanked by a smaller one housing back-office services." Together, the two buildings "sit well in their surroundings, reiterating volumes, proportions, materials and colors. The polychrome tile mosaic cladding brings color consistency as it is inspired by the texture of the historic facings in the immediate vicinity and constitutes a refined stylistic cipher of these architects."
“A plaza between the two museum blocks serves as a link for visitors and is a pedestrian crossroads. The main route continues inside the cloister of the old convent, which will feature eateries, shops and miscellaneous events, creating a new rapport with the city and new public spaces and accesses, for full permeability and fruition of the area."
Inside, "the main building will house the museum’s public functions: a permanent exhibition on 20th-century history, a temporary-exhibition space, an auditorium, educational rooms, a coffee shop, a bookshop, a mediatheque and the foyer. A generously sized staircase links the three exhibition floors, offering visitors a space that is evocative on the inside and looks out onto scenic views of the city."
“M9 is a serious wager that the Fondazione di Venezia is going to win: a new-generation ‘non-museum’ museum, focused not on conservation but on narration," described the curators. "Immersive and interactive, it will have a fluid heritage made of images, films and high-tech exhibition designs that are constantly evolving and sensorial, forging a relationship with every visitor, virtual or real, and ensuring that all come away with a memorable experience.
“The architectural design centers on excellence in terms of comfort and eco-sustainable buildings – Sauerbruch Hutton design ciphers. Thanks to these choices, M9 will be one of the first Italian museums to secure LEED Gold certification.”
M9 / Transforming the City will be curated by Fabio Achilli, Guido Guerzoni, Louisa Hutton and Matthias Sauerbruch.