One thing not to miss in Venice
The Olivetti Showroom is one of many highlights in our newly released Wallpaper* City Guide
If you’re in Venice for the Biennale, or just taking in the city’s sizeable, permanent architectural and artistic treasures, be sure to also stop in at this minor modern masterpiece on Piazza San Marco, which is featured in our new Wallpaper* City Guide.
Sure, it’s a showroom for a tech brand perhaps best-known for its typewriters, but, while desktop innovation may have moved on, there’s no improving this work, by one of the city’s best-loved creatives.
“Architect Carlo Scarpa gave his home town some of its most impressive buildings, not least the 1936 Aula Baratto at Ca’ Foscaari University and his early 1960s project at Querini Stampalia, a network of water channels that turned the city's regular flooding into a design element.
“For this 1958 showroom, he opened up a confined space, installing smooth concrete, African teak and Brazilian rosewood latticework, mosaic tiles that reflect the light and a marble staircase on brass rods that seems to float.
"It reopened in 2011 as a museum displaying Olivetti’s retro calculators and typewriters, including the classic ‘Lettera 22’ created by Marcello Nizzoli in 1950. At the entrance is sculptor Alberto Viani’s dramatic bronze piece Nudo al Sole. Closed Mondays. Piazza San Marco 101, T 041 522 8387, www.fondoambiente.it."
For more on Scarpa, take a look at this book; meanwhile, for a sleeker take on La Serenissima, order the new Wallpaper* City Guide.