Material: hot-dip rolled steel
The Venetian Arsenal, dating back to 1200, was the largest industrial complex in Europe in the pre-industrial period. Covering an area of around 46 hectares (110 acres) it employed as many as 2000 workers per day to construct the navy fleets of the ‘Serene Republic’ in a vast hub of shipyards, dry-docks and warehouses. Over time this activity ceased and the Gardens were designated as an area to host cultural initiatives. The International Art Exhibition has been held there since 1895 and the International Architecture Exhibition, which takes place in the Corderie building, since 1980. Works got underway in 2012 to restore the 16th century Sale d’Armi complex, with its spaces utilized by Argentina, UAE, South Africa, Turkey, Mexico and the Vatican as permanent pavilions for the Art and Architecture Exhibitions under twenty-year grants. After necessary measures were taken to render the site safe for use, the worn down metal windows and doors were replaced with new ones of the FerroFinestra system which are in keeping with the robust stonework on the walls which was left in its original state. These works were carried out in accordance with the local National Heritage authority (Soprintendenza BBAA).
Designer: Venice Biennale Restoration project