La Biennale di Venezia

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Arsenale


SESTIERE CASTELLO
CAMPIELLO TANA 2169/F, 30122 
VENEZIA
TEL  +39 0415218711
info@labiennale.org


The Arsenale was the largest production center in the pre-industrial era and in full-time periods it had up to 2,000 workers a day. It was a huge complex of construction sites where the Serenissima fleets were built and, therefore, a symbol of economic power, Politics and military of the city. Since 1980 the Arsenale has become the exhibition site of La Biennale on the occasion of the 1st International Architecture Exhibition. Later on, the same spaces were used during the Art Expositions for the Open section. Since 1999, a program for the enhancement of the area has been opened, which has allowed to open to the public, among other places: Teatro alle Tese and Teatro Piccolo Arsenale (2000), Giardino delle Vergini (2009), Sale d’Armi (2015?).

CORDERIE

Stretched on the south side of the Arsenale, built in 1303 and then rebuilt between 1579 and 1585 on a project by Antonio Da Ponte - the sculptor and architect of the Rialto Bridge - the Corderie were once used to build mooring ropes, cables and ropes used on ships. The large building (measuring 317 meters in length, 21 in width with a height of 12.10 meters at the eaves) is characterized by an imposing wooden roofing in the palladium style. Two rows of large columns in masonry (6 Meters of height for an average diameter of 1 meter) divid the space into three aisles and support two lofts rebuilt in 1916 in reinforced concrete to replace the original wood. In the nineteenth century the building was divided by masonry fire seals projecting over the roof. This intervention changed the spectacular original architectural design that presented the whole order of the columns to the view. La Biennale di Venezia used the Corderie for the first time in 1980 when Paolo Portoghesi set up the Strada Novissima on the occasion of the 1st International Architecture Exhibition. Subsequently, Corderie's space opens at the International Art Exhibition with the inauguration of the Open section by Achille Bonito Oliva and Harald Szeemann, dedicated to young artists. After the restoration carried out by the Venice Authority, the building has been subject to technological adaptation, which made it a usable location for the International Art Exhibitions and the International Architecture Exhibits, to which it is currently devoted. The total area is approximately 11,430 square meters, including the lofts of 4,460 square meters overall.

SALE D'ARMI NORTH AND SOUTH

The North and South Armaments complex, located in the heart of the Arsenale area in use at the Biennale, is made up of two imposing two-story buildings, consisting of 3 and 4 areas. The original nucleus of the Sale d'Armi dates back to about 1460, when they were used as a deposit for the armaments of the Serenissima Republic, as well for representation during the visits of particularly illustrious guests. Some rooms were in fact decorated with the weapons of the Republic of Venice. Along with the adjacent building of the Artiglierie, the Sale d’Armi are the symbol of the war power of land and sea of Venice. Access to this sector of the Artiglierie was exclusively through the monumental gateway attributed to Sanmicheli, built around 1560 to separate this strategic sector from other areas of the Arsenale.

Starting in 2012, in agreement with the Venice Authority, a complex restoration of the Salt Arms that were in a state of advanced structural degradation was started. This was possible thanks to the availability of public and private funds. Recovery activities are still ongoing. The aim is to finish work in 2019. The total area of the North and South Sale d'Armi Area is 7,150 square meters, 1,850 and 5,300 square meters respectively.

The Northern part, overlooking the Darsena Grande, are divided into four areas on two levels (today called A, B, C, D). The overall layout is the original one, but the prospectuses of each building and the interiors have been restructured at various times and especially in the twentieth century for functional needs of the Navy. The north and south slopes are rattled on the first floor with large windows and on the ground floor by large arches reinforced Istrian stone. Portal arches have lion heads at their top. The only access to the upper floors consisted of a single large staircase in section A, marked by an impressive eighteenth-century portal attributed to architect Filippo Rossi. The challenging functional restoration that will be completed soon by La Biennale, has brought the space back to his original dimensions, while leaving traces of various uses in the time. The new technology and security facilities have made space available for both display and show use. Accessibility to the upper floors was adapted by creating new accesses made up of an outdoor escalator, while inside the portions A and D were designed two stairs. Completely restored B, C and D sections are home to National Participations (Argentina, Peru, South Africa, Turkey, Mexico, United Arab Emirates and Singapore), who for years have asked for their own space in the exhibition area of ​​the Biennale. Part A, broader and articulated in interior spaces, is primarily intended for Biennale College activities.

The South part is composed of three buildings on two levels, currently called E, F and G that were built after the north area and date back to the middle of the 17th century. The section were then rebuilt during the eighteenth century, after a fire in 1728. Similarly to the north, they have main rhythm-covered displays on the upper floor of large windows and on the ground floor by three different access passes, arches, in Istria stone with a lion's head in the vault. As in the north area, access to the upper floors goes through a single imposing staircase. The staircase is announced in the prospectus by an Istrian stone portal constructed by the architect Rossi in 1768. The spatial composition of the three buildings has a different articulation than that of the North part, due to subsequent alterations of the original distributor, as well as the coverings in latero, allegedely redone in the thirties and forties. It is worth mentioning the peculiarity of the ground floor of the G building, which has a cruise-like ceiling to protect it from any explosions of salnitro, present in gunpowder which was deposited here. Subsequently, during the First World War, this space was used as a deposit of torpedoes. Traces of this past are of the large metal portable wardrobes and the bridge wagons used for handling them. The functional restoration of the southern hall began in 2014 and is expected to be completed in the coming years. The interventions that have been carried out so far have been aimed at preserving the shells during the degradation phase and to realize the frames in order to protect the interior.

Scheduled interventions are implemented in stages, to allow the immediate use of the previously restored spaces for the activities to which they are intended.

 

ARTIGLIERIE

Made up of a one floor building dating back to 1560, the Artiglierie occupy a 3.300 square metres area. They originally hosted the Arsenale workshops. Next to this site, there is a former warehouse (the Isolotto) that covers 900 square metres.

ISOLOTTO

Description available soon

GAGGIANDRE

The Gaggiandre, two magnificent shipyards built between 1568 and 1573 after some designs attributed to Jacopo Sansovino, overlook a large internal dock. Beyond the Tese, partly realised in the 16th century, is the Giardino delle Vergini, a fascinating green area.

TESE DELLE VERGINI

Description available soon

GIARDINO DELLE VERGINI

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PONTE DEI PENSIERI
 

Description available soon

FONDERIE AND COMPARTO BOMBARDE
 

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THE ITALIAN PAVILION

The new Padiglione Italia, destined to the exhibitions promoted by The Ministry for Cultural Affairs, overlooks the Gaggiandre and the 16th century Tese on one side, and the Giardino delle Vergini on the other. It hosts Italian artists in a significantly enlarged and requalified structure (in 2009 the exhibition space was extended from 800 to 1800 square metres).

NATIONAL PAVILIONS

The Arsenale currently host the National Pavilions of Albania, Argentina, Chile,  People’s Republic of China, Croatia, United Arab Emirates, Philippines, Georgia, Indonesia, Ireland,  Italy, Republic of Kosovo, Latvia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Republic of Slovenia, Republic of South Africa, Tunisia e Turkey.

BOOKSHOP
 

Description available soon

CAFETERIA - RESTAURANT
 

Description available soon

Arsenale

SESTIERE CASTELLO
CAMPIELLO TANA 2169/F, 30122 
VENEZIA
TEL  +39 0415218711
info@labiennale.org

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