David Chipperfield Architects Milan’s renovation of the historic Procuratie Vecchie building in Venice is set to get underway, following a granting of permission by the Superintendency of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape earlier this year. For the first time in 500 years, a large portion of the Procuratie Vecchie on the Piazza San Marco will be made accessible to the public to host activities of The Human Safety Net, supporting vulnerable communities.
The project is not defined by a single concept, but by a pragmatic series of interventions addressing the building’s complexity. The first and second floors will be restored, while accessibility and usability will be improved by new staircases and a renewed central entrance on the third floor with access to the raised courtyards.
Sitting on the city’s iconic Piazza San Marco, the Procuratie Vecchie was designed by Bartolomeo Bon and Jacopo Sansovino in the early sixteenth century. The renovation project, promoted by global insurance providers and building owners Generali, will repurpose the historic building for the public, with exhibition spaces linked to The Human Safety Net Foundation on the third floor, along with workspaces and an auditorium. The structure’s integrity will be restored through the restoration of original features and elements, while the interior spaces will be reunified to introduce clarity to the building.
Working on this remarkable building with a Client so committed to Venice continues to be a great privilege. Over the last two years, we have come to better understand and respect the complexities of the building hidden behind its grand public façade. In adapting the building to accommodate a more public program for The Human Safety Net, we have sought to balance the infrastructural requirements with restoration and refurbishment of the historic fabric. We are driven by the ambition to both re-unify the architectural work, as well as the identity of the building as a place of work, meeting and discussion for the city.
The restoration will involve the recuperation of original Venetian materials and craftsmanship from local tradespeople. The works are integrated with the current progression of a 2009 project by Gretchen Harnischfeger Alexander, which includes the renovation of the main façade on Piazza San Marco, structural interventions, and a new fire protection system.
The Chipperfield project will be complemented by the restoration of the adjacent Giardini Reali carried out by the Venice Gardens Foundation in partnership with Generali, giving back to the city’s inhabitants an important element of Venetian history.
News via: David Chipperfield Architects Milan