Overlooking the San Marco Basin, the head office of La Biennale di Venezia is an historical palace among the most representative of the Venetian late Gothic style. The palace, originally called "dei Giustinian", was built around 1471 and is the result of the union of two different buildings: Giustinian and Badoer-Tiepolo. It has been the subject of important renovations between 2008 and 2009. The interiors of the palace are accessible on request and are characterized by essential lines and neutral colors combined with decorative shapes and colors typical of contemporary design. The rooms have been completed with selected artistic works of Art, placed in order to enhance the relationship between Art and space. Light is the other characterizing element of the location.
Following the restoration of the palace, since 2010 Ca 'Giustinian has been hosting all the organizing offices of the Venice Biennale.
SALA DELLE COLONNE
The hall, adjacent to the noble first floor of Ca 'Giustinian, is part of a new area built at the end of the 30s, and it completes the partial transformation of the palace into the seat of the first municipal casino. The decorative setting is eclectic, with references to the 1700 Venetian style. A perimeter base placed in relief frames supports a vertical score of pilasters with faux-marble decoration, large mirrors made of Murano are placed on the walls; the ceiling is enriched with polychrome stuccos and characteristics ceiling lights where a multitude of glass rosettes filter the light. The hall was used until the early 1980s and after was closed, waiting for restoration and adaptation to security standards. The project and intervention involved the restoration of architectural and artistic elements, as well as important structural works and plant and installation design. A specific attention was devoted to integrated lighting and original ceiling lights. The same care has been given to the technologically advanced equipment of audio / video systems designed for multiple uses. The opening of this room completes the restoration of the Ca 'Giustinian palace and brings back to the city a space of remarkable historical interest. The head office fully embodies the nature of a multifunctional center that can accommodate permanent activities as foreseen by the program targets implemented for the Palace of Exhibitions at the Giardini.
The Portego on the ground floor of Ca 'Giustinian has become, thanks to the restoration works of La Biennale, a space for historical-retrospective exhibitions, made with materials coming from the Historical Archive of Contemporary Arts. Since 2009 12 exhibitions have been presented, including the recent "Biennale Arte 2001 - Platea of Humanity" (2016-2017), "1999" (2015) and "The Idea of the Body" (2014).
LABORATORIO DELLE ARTI
The Laboratorio delle Arti is a space of 180 meters where meetings and workshops are held for the activities of Biennale College and Biennale Educational. Inside, the workshop features walls left unrefined, a concrete floor hand-polished with a special oil, with a larch wood inlay, large workbenches in birch, and a blackboard wall designed to become a collector of ideas and Descriptive wall of the projects.
At Ca 'Giustinian the children are welcome and La Biennale has created a room dedicated to them inside the Palace. In the children's space located on the ground floor of Ca 'Giustinian, young visitors can play among the playful and colorful furnishings, relax by browsing an illustrated book or engaging in creative activities to get closer to Art and Culture while having fun.
The area has facilities for free use as a hot water boiler, high chair and changing facilities.
Open Monday to Saturday, from 10am to 8pm
Specializing in Art and Architecture publications with a vast and continuously updated catalog, the Lions & Books bookshop (Ca 'Giustinian, ground floor) offers the latest catalogs of the exhibitions organized by La Biennale di Venezia, Art books for children and teenagers, as well as many gadgets like handbags, jerseys and pens with the original logo of the Fondazione.
Open Monday to Saturday, from 10am to 7pm
CAFETERIA - RESTAURANT
The "L’ombra del leone" cafeteria is located inside the ex Sala degli Specchi (on the ground floor of the right side of the palace, overlooking the privileged location at the beginning of the Grand Canal). At the beginning of the restoration work, the hall had no more trace of the decorative setting of the first half of the 1900s, consisting of walls covered with Murano glasses and mirrors - hence the name "Sala degli Specchi" - that was supposedly dismantled at the beginning of the 70s . Today, the new cafeteria represents a space of relationship with the city, open to cultural initiatives or simply a place to take a break sitting inside or on the water terrace. The interior decoration and the terrace are a contemporary reinterpretation of the nineteenth-century coffee tradition. The layout of the space divided into two parts separated by two masonry blocks - a testimony to the unification of the two buildings in the previous period - became the element on which the distribution of the various functions displays: the bar counter and a relaxation area with sofas anticipate the space equipped with seating and tables for public service. The material, shapes and colors of coatings and furnishings are blended in a harmonious contrast between the tradition and the actuality of a constantly moving present. An emotional and communicative light characterizes the project: on the opposite wall of main access a narrative wall reproduces images and suggestions where the protagonists are La Biennale and the city of Venice reverberating in the water and its reflections
Open daily from 9am to 9pm
The strategic position of the building on the San Marco Basin has certainly inspired, during the first half of the last century, the construction of the large panoramic terrace. A unique space, an amphitheater on the lagoon and the city with a disarmonious space spanned by the amplitude of sight and light. The purpose of the project was to make this singular place harmonious and enjoyable to welcome guests mainly during the inauguration of the events. An outdoor wooden slatting floor divides the space. The furniture, made with essential lines, is made of state-of-the-art materials and easy to maintain. A long pergola runs parallel to the wall of the built part of the terrace and looks out to the horizon. The plant presence is minimal, consisting of selected evergreen essences placed inside tanks and vases that define functional areas and paths. The chromatic notes range from white to cerulean seasonal inflorescences. The different shades of bright green foliage blend with the silvery one. Indirect lights differentiate the spaces without competing with the city's nocturnal show while, hanging on iron curls rising from the balustrade, 24 boat lanterns reveal in the backlight the bells and chimneys in the skyline of the city.