MEMBERSHIP |
BECOME A FRIEND
> Find out how to join the Friends of the Foundation club

Sign up for the newsletter to stay updated
Restoration of the Venice Pavilion

The Venice Pavilion of the Biennale dates from 1932, and is a historically exceptional space, reserved for special projects. It is owned and managed by Venice City Council. Inaugurated for the 18th International Art Biennale, it was conceived as a pavilion for the decorative arts, from glass, through fabrics, to mosaics, in order to allow for the finest worldwide examples of work being done in those fields to be compared and contrasted. In the post-war period, it was no longer used for its original purpose and fell into disrepair. Thereafter it was not occupied on a continuous basis.

In architectural terms, it embodies the idea of an exedra – a sort of stage set – inspired by Renaissance and baroque models. The external hemicycle also conditions the rigorous, white internal spaces, which are lit from above. The pavilion was designed in the early 1930s by the architect Brenno del Giudice, who was also responsible for the beautiful marble flooring. Over the decades, the pavilion held up a mirror to the local avant-garde movements, serving as a showcase above all for exquisite craftsmanship and technical mastery. 

In 2011, the reinstatement of the Venice Pavilion’s original function was a commitment that indicated the vitality that the city intended to express – a commitment that continues to this day. Fondaco co-ordinated the works, Lares dealt pro-actively with the restoration, while two companies helped to fund the interventions: Arzanà Navi and Louis Vuitton. 

As the then Mayor, Giorgio Orsoni, put it: “Arzanà Navi is a prestigious, young, local business, with the ability to export innovation and expertise in the high-end nautical sector – a sector that is very much part of Venice’s DNA. The city, which boasts a rich artistic legacy, is itself a workshop of creativity and not simply a theatre for the representations of others. As such, Venice needed its own impressive space in which to present the very best output from those local exponents of art on the cutting edge”. 

Madile Gambier, Commissioner of the Venice Pavilion, referred to the operation as a philological restoration of the highest order, which refers back to the city’s great history of artistic virtuosity. For Alberto Peruzzo, chairman of Arzanà Navi, the restoration of the Venice Pavilion was not only about the salvaging of a physical site but also a symbolic recovery of a place in which talent and ideas must feel at home once again, where art and industry can come together, and where a socially and culturally responsible approach can engage with the local area.

Il padiglione nei decenni è stato lo specchio delle avanguardie del territorio, specie in materia di alto artigianato e del saper fare. 

Nel 2011, l’aver riportato il Padiglione Venezia alla sua originaria funzionalità è stato un impegno e un segno della vitalità che la Città intendeva ed intende esprimere.  

Fondaco ha coordinato gli interventi, Lares si è occupata fattivamente del restauro, mentre due aziende hanno contribuito finanziando gli interventi: Arzanà Navi e Louis Vuitton. 

Nelle parole dell’allora Sindaco Giorgio Orsoni “Arzanà Navi è una realtà territoriale giovane e di pregio, capace di esportare innovazione e know-how in un settore, quello della nautica d’alta gamma, che si lega a Venezia intimamente. La città, ricca di un tessuto artistico di livello, laboratorio di creatività e non solo teatro di altrui rappresentazioni, doveva avere uno spazio all’altezza dove presentare le migliori avanguardie del territorio”. 

Un restauro filologico di altissimo livello –  secondo il Commissario del Padiglione Venezia, Madile Gambier – che permette un rimando ad una grande storia di saperi artistici.

Per Alberto Peruzzo, presidente di Arzanà Navi, il recupero del Padiglione Venezia è il recupero di un luogo fisico, ma anche simbolico, dove il talento e le idee devono ritrovare dimora, dove arte e industria si uniscono, dove un approccio di responsabilità sociale e culturale abbraccia il territorio.