In 2017, David Chipperfield’s Milan studio won the commision for the renovation of the Procuratie Vecchia, a historic landmark on the north side of Venice’s Piazza San Marco. After five years of work, the building is now accessible to the public for the first time in 500 years. Central to Chipperfield’s philosophy for restoration, the project is not defined by a singular architectural gesture, but rather through a series of interventions that carefully consider the complexity of the existing building fabric.
The project is funded by Generalis, one of the largest insurance companies in the world. After acquiring nearly the entirety of the Procuratie Vecchie, the company set a goal of creating a more engaged relationship between the historic masterpiece and the city of Venice.
Interventions include the restoration of the first and second floors. The third floor is enhanced to include exhibition spaces open to the public and is linked to the Human Safety Net Foundation. Throughout the building accessibility was improved, including the addition of a new staircase.
The renovation forms part of the larger plan by Generali for the Marciana Area. This includes a revitalisation of the site’s royal gardens and restoration of pedestrian links to an important part of the Piazza San Marco area, directly connected to the gardens by a historic drawbridge.
Interventions draw from ancient, local and traditional construction techniques and craftsmanship including a palette of finishes for floors, walls, and ceilings that includes pastellone and terrazzo, marmorino and scialbatura, as well as cocciopesto and cotto.