Tadao Ando rounds off triplet of Venetian schemes for Francois Pinault Foundation
Should you find yourself in Venice this autumn, you would do well to stop by the home of the Francois Pinault Foundation. The organisation recently celebrated the completion of a trio of architecture projects by Tadao Ando which have restored a series of existing buildings and adapted their shells for the public display of the Foundation's comprehensive art collection.
In 2006, the organisation purchased and restored Palazzo Grassi, swiftly followed by a similar scheme involving the Punta della Dogana in 2009. Recently, the trio of restorations was completed by Teatrino, a multimedia venue for the visual arts as part of a refurbishment project by Japanese architect Tadao Ando.
Adjacent to the Punta della Dogana, Teatrino will be the setting for a sequence of interview films which relate to the exhibition ‘Prima Materia’ in the Punta della Dogana this October. The artists whose work will be displayed in the Punta della Dogana have been interviewed on film and these clips will be played to audiences in Teatrino during the autumn season.
Commenting on the freshly-completed space, Director of Palazzo Grassi Bethenod Martin explained: “It all stems from the deep conviction that art involves much more than a beautiful container of works.”
Ando’s scheme retains the existing fabric of the building but inserts an entirely new form within its walls. The original building was completed in 1961 but has been abandoned since 1983. Its trapezoidal plan has been retained however a new roof has been incorporated using rolled zinc alloy to correspond with the historic roof typologies of rolled lead.
Teatrino is composed of two foyers - one 115 sq m, the other 90 sq m - which lead onto an auditorium complete with stage, backstage area and a flight of steps embedded with seating for an audience of 225 spectators. The foyer areas are lit by a large triangular skylight; a shape that can also be found in the foyer areas in a series of angular openings between spaces.
To ensure that the venue is entirely watertight, Ando has introduced a water retention tank on a slab, providing protection for a rise in water level up to 2m above sea level.