david chipperfield's renovation of procuratie vecchie set to get underway in venice
 

david chipperfield's renovation of procuratie vecchie set to get underway in venice

in 2017, david chipperfield’s milan office was entrusted with renovating the procuratie vecchie, a historic landmark on venice’s piazza san marco. now, after receiving approval from local authorities, the development is set to move ahead with a large part of the building becoming publicly accessible for the first time in 500 years. as with many of chipperfield’s restorations, the project is not defined by a single concept or architectural gesture, but through a series of calculated interventions that address the complexity of the work.

david chipperfield procuratie vecchie renovation
a large part of the building will become publicly accessible for the first time in 500 years
image courtesy of david chipperfield architects | video courtesy of generali

 

 

the ambitious project is being backed by generali, one of the world’s largest insurance companies. the intervention is part of generali’s larger plan for the marciana area, which also includes the revitalization of the site’s royal gardens. the procuratie vecchie, which develop along the entire north side of piazza san marco, were designed by the architect bartolomeo bon and later by jacopo sansovino in the first half of the 16th century.

david chipperfield procuratie vecchie renovation
a series of calculated interventions address the complexity of the work
image courtesy of david chipperfield architects

 

 

generally speaking, the restoration will reunify the interior spaces of the procuratie vecchie and introduce clarity into the building. the interventions to be carried out by david chipperfield architects milan include the restoration of the first and second floors, the reorganization of accessibility and usability of the building through the inclusion of new staircases, and the renewed central entrance on the third floor with access to the raised courtyards.

david chipperfield procuratie vecchie renovation
the restoration work will involve original venetian materials and workmanship
image courtesy of david chipperfield architects

 

 

internal circulation routes will be improved and clarified with the help of some new structural interventions. the restoration work will involve original venetian materials and workmanship with local artisans employed throughout. importantly, the building’s third floor will be enhanced to include exhibition spaces open to the public and linked to the human safety net foundation — the initiative set up by generali to support the most vulnerable communities in those countries where the group is present.

david chipperfield procuratie vecchie renovation
the restoration will reunify the interior spaces of the procuratie vecchie
image courtesy of david chipperfield architects

 

 

the human safety net is an initiative that combines the potential of the social sector with the one of generali. it establishes partnerships and invests in social enterprises and NGOs in europe, asia and latin america. together with generali, the foundation has built up three programs — for families, for refugees startups and for newborns — that can have a long-term impact on the lives of the most vulnerable people and enable them to their talents. launched in october 2017, the human safety net is now active in 19 countries with a net of over 25 partners.

david chipperfield procuratie vecchie renovation
an accessible rooftop will offer views across the city
image courtesy of david chipperfield architects

 

 

‘working on this remarkable building with a client so committed to venice continues to be a great privilege,’ says david chipperfield. ‘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.’

david chipperfield procuratie vecchie renovation
the building dates back to the 16th century 
image courtesy of martino lombezzi / contrasto

 

 

‘the restoration and renovation of the procuratie vecchie will bring back to its original splendor one of the most beautiful places in venice, known throughout the world,’ adds the chairman of generali, gabriele galateri di genola, and the GCEO, philippe donnet. ‘a place closely linked to the history of generali, which shares the st mark’s lion as a symbol, and which for the first time in 500 years will be open to the public through our the human safety net initiative.

david chipperfield procuratie vecchie renovation
the building’s first and second floors will be completely restored
image courtesy of martino lombezzi / contrasto

 

 

‘the project we are announcing today is part of the broader vision for the restoration of the entire marciana area which we have promoted with pride and passion, and will foster new development opportunities for the city,’ continues gabriele galateri di genola and philippe donnet. ‘a special thanks goes to all the authorities with whom we have had discussions in recent months, in particular the superintendency and the municipality of venice, for having supported the launch of this project.’

david chipperfield procuratie vecchie renovation
local artisans will be employed throughout the project
image courtesy of DCUBE

 

 

the intervention also includes the restoration of the adjacent royal gardens, or giardini reali, carried out by the venice gardens foundation in partnership with generali. this part of the project seeks to restore pedestrian links to an important part of the piazza san marco area, directly connected to the gardens by a historic drawbridge. the inauguration of the renovated giardini reali is scheduled for autumn 2019. see designboom’s previous coverage of the project here.

david chipperfield procuratie vecchie renovation
the procuratie vecchie develop along the entire north side of piazza san marco
image courtesy of martino lombezzi / contrasto

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