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36 PROJECT REPORT: HERITAGE & CONSERVATION


MAIN PICS


The Procuratie Vecchie (left of above image) frames one side of Piazza San Marco © Gabriele Maltinti


BOTTOM RIGHT


Drawings of landscaping planned for Royal Gardens – which are being restored to the south of the square


The current layout constitutes 12,800 m2


of


space that is essentially a single, connected area. This needs to be subdivided to form the individual spaces required for its variety of future uses.


Generali will be creating spaces in the building that will be accessible to the public for the first time in over 500 years


In order to host seminars and exhibitions and house office spaces Generali requires the interiors to have some flexibility and adaptability, so they can be used “both horizontally and vertically.” The Human Safety Net will be occupying the third and fourth floors of the building, so plans allow for two new staircases to be installed. These have been carefully designed to integrate with the history of the building and are inspired largely by staircases designed by Sansovino, the Procuratie Vecchie’s original architect.


Much of the area on the third floor has been unused in recent times. This is where Generali envisages people “exhibiting, meeting, working and discussing ideas.” The space features traditional 16th century wooden beams and terrazzo flooring which will both be reinstated and


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preserved as much as possible. The brick walls in this area will then be repaired and lightly whitewashed in order to give a clean appearance, yet not disguise or hide their original composition, which will be allowed to show through. Large archways will be installed in the walls, connecting the individual spaces as one while also retaining a sense of separation. This design will also reflect the original sequence of the rooms along this floor. Lastly, to combat the reoccurring problem of flooding in the piazza, Generali plans to construct reinforced concrete tidal tanks that guarantee protection up to a tidal height of 175 cm. The tank is made up of concrete stalls connected to the building’s outer walls that prevent the rising of the tide. The system will also allow for stainless steel mobile gates to be added externally across the ground floor during high tides.


The Royal Gardens


As Chipperfield explains, projects like this sensitive major restoration “cannot work in


ADF FEBRUARY 2018


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