Sunday, April 24, 2011

Negozio Olivetti reopens: a Carlo Scarpa Jewel

The Olivetti store reopened this week in Piazzia San Marco, I popped in to take a look.   In 1957 Olivetti wanted a flagshop location to showcase their well designed lines of business and communication equipment, and what better place than San Marco, the one place in the world where everyone will visit.

the Lettera 22 we all had at school...

Carlo Scarpa had just won a national architecture award sponsored by the Olivetti Corporation and they chose him to design their store.  He created a jewel box for the Olivetti business machines.

Just outside the day after it re-opened this week.  It had been used as a novelty store for the past 14 years and after a 1 year restoration, the owner put it in the hands of FAI , an Italian preservation group to operate as a museum.

I got to get in a couple of days later, It is interesting to see the antica and the moderne in such proximity.

After I paid my admission I went right up the stairs...

...rows of machines in a delicate world.

The window at the end, showing the sliding screens.

And the view down to the entry.  A red carpet of tile to welcome the visitor.
Scarpa used an amazing variety of materials, the african teak and the rosewood trim, bronze doors, steel support, venetian plaster, polished black granite, that beautiful red tile and the sculpture by Alberto Viani: Nudo al Sole.
As well as white marble throughout to set all this off.  Not too many could pull it off, but Scarpa had an amazing sense of  detail and its importance to the overall scheme.

Just one thing that Scarpa did not have to deal with...the OliPad...used here to provide interactive history for the museum visitors.

Back downstairs I go into the back room... is dark and yellow and has what was probably a fountain which is not in operation now.  The scale is very close back here...

...I leave and study the stair base.  The slabs of white marble seem to float, and possibly there was water here as well.

The other side shows the slab relationship.  The tiles here are blue symbolising water, the display floors are always the white tiles seen above.

Back at the entrance we see the Nudo al sole.  In the 1966 flood the Nudo was totally submerged by the waters of the lagoon.

Wouldn't you like to see this beautiful place?

1 comment:

  1. nice place! will try to get there when i'm in venice. btw, does the museum have a room/space to accommodate approx. 50 people?