Sir David Chipperfield has been selected to lead the restoration of Venice’s Procuratie Vecchie, Generali’s historic home in Venice, a monumental building located on one edge of the city’s most famous St Mark’s Square.
The Procuratie are three connected buildings on St Mark’s Square in Venice. They are also connected to St Mark’s Clocktower. They are historic buildings over arcades, the last of them completed, to finish off the square, under Napoleon’s occupation.
The oldest of the buildings is the Procuratie Vecchie on the north side of St Mark’s Square, built as a two-storey structure in the twelfth century, to house the offices and apartments of the procurators of San Marco. They were rebuilt after a fire in the sixteenth century to a three-storey design by Codussi which still betrays something of its Gothic roots.
The Procuratie Nuove, on the south side of the Square was begun in 1586 by Vincenzo Scamozzi in a more strictly Classical style and completed by Longhena in 1640, designed to afford more space to offices connected with the procurators. The two buildings originally had wings on the west side of the Square, separated only by a small church. In about 1810, the wings and the church were demolished and replaced by the third building, the Napoleonic Wing of the Procuraties. It was designed by Giuseppe Maria Soli in a Neoclassical manner.
Generali has appointed the famous British architect to restore the building, applying an approach and sensibility that will allow for a respectful transformation of the monumental Procuratie Vecchie into the vibrant heart of a new flagship initiative: The Human Safety Net. The Human Safety Net aims to help some of the most vulnerable communities around the world and it is open to alliances and partnerships with like-minded people and organisations. It is based on the idea that communities of ‘people helping people’ can bring about sustainable change, creating a positive ripple effect. It reflects Generali’s commitment to contribute towards a healthy, resilient and sustainable society where people can develop and flourish to their full potential.
The Procuratie Vecchie will provide an open door for people to seek inspiration from programmes, exchange ideas, and volunteer to take collective action. The hub will host regular public exhibitions, events and discussions on pressing social and demographic challenges from poverty to migration.
Sir David Chipperfield, founder of David Chipperfield Architects, will supervise the multi-million renovation of the 16th century Procuratie Vecchie, which will be opened to the public for the first time in 500 years when the project is completed in 2020. DCA Milan is also involved in a longer-term plan to create a public route through the Procuratie Nuove to the Giardini Reali on the Grand Canal, the restoration of which is also being funded by Generali.
“The Human Safety Net and its home in Venice, a city steeped in history and culture, brings together knowledge and inspiration for the common good. I am delighted to be working on this architecturally and socially coherent project, which will convey and connect ideas and people around the world. Working closely with Generali, we have a vision to transform the Procuratie Vecchie into a more active and engaged space, which embodies the global mission of The Human Safety Net, while retaining the dignified beauty and history of the buildings.” (David Chipperfield)
Entrance Procuratie Vecchie
Scala 4 Procuratie Vecchie
Third floor render Procuratie Vecchie
3D Renders by David Chipperfield Architects
Image courtesy of Generaly
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