After admiring the buildings and bell tower, step into the old Olivetti Showroom, a jewel of contemporary architecture
St. Mark’s Square, in Venice, needs no introductions. The breathtaking view of its Basilica, Bell Tower, Clock Tower, ‘palazzi’ and porticoes is one of the most beautiful in the world. However, in the midst of its attractions, there lies a hidden attraction – a truly unmissable venue for connoisseurs of 20th-century architecture.
We are here referring to the Olivetti Showroom, designed in 1958 by Carlo Scarpa and commissioned by Adriano Olivetti, an Italian entrepreneur, an innovator, an academic and a man of culture, who wanted to establish a modern showroom to display the typewriters and calculators manufactured by the famous Ivrea-based company. Thanks to the philanthropy of Olivetti and the talent of Scarpa, a famous, multi-award winning designer, the Venetian shop became a real work of art. Scarpa transformed the space provided to him from a long, dark alley into an open jewel box, featuring clean-cut lines and a harmonious blend of modern architectural design and Venetian tradition.
The shop, owned by Assicurazioni Generali and recently renovated, has now been returned to its original function, namely a showroom for Olivetti products. In 2012, concession of the building was granted to FAI-The Italian National Trust, which re-opened it to the public. Thanks to a recent donation from Olivetti to FAI, visitors can now admire a permanent exhibition featuring a historic collection of typewriters and calculators, including the iconic ‘Lettera 22’, also exhibited at MoMA in New York.
“Ettore Sottsass ceramiche 1957-1969” exhibition
Don’t miss the “Ettore Sottsass ceramiche 1957-1969” exhibition celebrating the centenary of the birth of the revolutionary architect and designer. A part of the Venice Art Biennale’s official program, 60 works, including vases, plates and the designer’s famous menhir, ‘converse’ with the spaces of the showroom designed by Carlo Scarpa. Two titans of Italian design, both of whom worked closely with illuminated entrepreneur Adriano Olivetti in the ‘50s and ‘60s, are reunited. A homage to the two former art directors of Olivetti.
OPENING DAYS AND HOURS:
From November to March: Tue-Sun 10.30am-5.30pm
From April to October: Tue-Sun 10.30am-6.30pm
Full price ticket 8 euro
Reduced ticket 4 euro