So I was just in Venice, to see the Biennale. Art-wise, there wasn’t much that really wowed me, so I’ll start with the fantastic newly-restored Olivetti store in Piazza San Marco. Designed by the late, great Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa (one of my favorites) in 1957-58, the space has been turned into a stunning museum space by the city. They even got the original models of Olivetti typewriters that were on display when the shop opened.
But the shop was never designed to be simply a shop. It was intended as a ‘business card’, that would showcase Olivetti’s attention to detail and affinity for good design, which was legendary. (Ettore Sottsass designed their amazing Valentine, in 1969.)
Despite his brilliance, Scarpa was apparently difficult to work with, often taking years longer to complete projects that was originally agreed.
But I think it’s clear in retrospect that it would have been worth the wait.
All photos by Scott Barker. More after the jump…
And the details…it’s like walking through an enormous jewelry box: