Emilio Vedova Exhibition Area inside the former Magazzini del Sale (salt warehouses), Venice
In 1984, during the works preceding the staging of the “Prometheus”, Renzo Piano committed himself to designing an exhibition space where to exhibit the works of the Venetian painter Emilio Vedova. On that occasion, the idea of a dynamic system for moving large canvases also emerged. The same idea took shape in 2008. The Municipality of Venice decided to devote the beautiful first aisle of the former salt warehouses on the Zattere to this purpose; Emilio Vedova had worked there before his death. The Fondazione “Emilio e Annabianca Vedova”, chaired by Alfredo Bianchini, concretely supported the initiative, while Renzo Piano organised the arrangement of the spaces and Germano Celant curated the exhibition. The one-of-a-kind exhibition space features a sloping floor made of larch boards, adding a special perspective effect to the hall, which is over 60 m long but only 6 m wide.
Works are stored in a large “filing cabinet” located in the inner section of the long room and can be picked up, moved and kept in front of the visitors through a robotic, computerised system. This sophisticated and futuristic machine allows some small crane arms to slide on a rail hung to the wooden trusses of the ceiling. The selected pictures can therefore be picked and stored in the desired order, which can be changed and programmed every time. Despite the complex technologies used, the installation is essential and was created respecting the integrity of the valuable building housing the works. Technology and respect for nature are also reflected by the systems inside the building: geothermal probes have indeed been installed to obtain air-conditioning without waste, while computer control of electricity consumption ensures reduced energy waste.
Fondazione Emilio & Annabianca Vedova
RPBW – arch. Renzo Piano con Alessandro Traldi