David Chipperfield Architects Procuratie Vecchie Venice

David Chipperfield,

Alessandra Chemollo, Alberto Parise, Richard Davies,

Venice, Italy,


The Procuratie Vecchie in Venice were recently opened to the public for the first time, five hundred years after their construction. Built in the sixteenth century to house the public attorneys of San Marco, the Procuratie Vecchie have undergone a complex restoration project under David Chipperfield Architects’ Milan office to allow them to continue playing a social role: the third floor of the building is home to The Human Safety Net, a foundation established by Generali to help vulnerable people develop their potential.

David Chipperfield Architects Procuratie Vecchie Venice

David Chipperfield Architects Milan planned a complex architectural project for the Procuratie Vecchie in Piazza San Marco in Venice. The project involved restoration of the first and second floors of the building, housing the offices of insurance company Generali, reorganised the routes in the building with the addition of a new vertical link, and renovated the third floor to house The Human Safety Net.
Le Procuratie, named after the illustrious residents for whom the buildings were originally constructed, surround the public space of Venice’s famous square on three sides. Le Procuratie Vecchie stand on the northern side, next to the Clock Tower, and were intended to house the top officials, "Procuratori", who administrated the city and concerned themselves with social issues, and were required by law to live adjacent to the Ducal Palace.
The construction of the building, with the loggias and arcades that give it the public image by which it is universally known, began in 1517 under Bartolomeo Bon and was completed in 1538 by Jacopo Sansovino as part of a sixteenth-century plan for renewal of the city under Doge Andrea Gritti of the Republic of Venice. The new building replaced a previous one dating back to the 12th century which had been damaged by fire and demolished, and it established the new “modern ancient” language later adopted on the south and west sides of the square, in the Procuratie Nuove and the Procuratie Nuovissime.
In view of the building’s complexity and its links with its surroundings, David Chipperfield Architects Milan developed a flexible approach involving a series of actions rather than a single bold architectural gesture. Interpreting the heritage of the Procuratie, the architects understood and used ancient local construction techniques to restore the integrity of the structures, mediating with the new infrastructure requirements and restoring the integrity of one of the most representative places in Venice. The restoration of the architecture to adapt the building for public use in the work of The Human Safety Net returns the building to its original social function as a place serving the city, ideally continuing the purpose for which it was built five hundred years ago.

(Agnese Bifulco)

Images courtesy of David Chipperfield Architects Milan
Photos by Alessandra Chemollo (10-16, 18, 19), Richard Davies (01), Alberto Parise (02-09, 17, 20)

Project Credits

Project Name: Procuratie Vecchie
Location: Piazza San Marco, Venezia, Italy

Client: Generali Real Estate S.p.A., Milano, Italy
User: Assicurazioni Generali, The Human Safety Net

Architect: David Chipperfield Architects Milan, Italy https://davidchipperfield.com/
Partners: David Chipperfield, Giuseppe Zampieri
Associate Director: Cristiano Billia
Associates: Adolfo Berardozzi, Andrea Cocco, Carlo Zucchia

Project team: Simone Diego Alessi, Federica Amoruso, Thomas Benk, Corrado Bongiorno, Cecilia Bottoni, Niccolò Brussa, Teresa Cancellari, Marta Capacciola, Francesca Carino, Filippo Carcano, Francesca Carino, Carlo Federico Cattò, Fabiano Cocozza, Maria Elena Codazzi, Paolo Dell‘Elce, Stefano Goffi, Tsukasa Goto, Samuel Lodetti, Eugenio Matteazzi, Tommaso Meena, Daniel Mira García, Sofia Nobis, Brigid O’Donnell, Stefano Penazzi, Matthijs Sioen, Tiziana Staffieri, Davide Tassera, Federico Turelli, Wouter Verstraete, Maria Chiara Virgili

Competition team: Cosmin Amato, Pietro Bagnoli, Corrado Bongiorno, Cecilia Bottoni, Filippo Carcano, Carlo Federico Cattò, Tommaso Certo, Fabiano Cocozza, Maria Elena Codazzi, Federica Corrà, Paolo Dell‘Elce, Tsukasa Goto, Nicola Guercilena, Seunggeun Jee, Chiara Lippi, Eugenio Matteazzi, Gabriele Pagani, Paolo Volpetti, Federica Zerbo
In collaboration with
David Chipperfield Architects, Berlin: Thomas Benk, Anke Fritzsch, Christopher Jonas
Zero4Uno Ingegneria srl, Venice, Italy: Romeo Scarpa
Franco Gazzarri Architetto, Mestre, Italy

Quantity surveyor: GAD, Milan, Italy: Gianpiero Aresi, Luca Cedrelli, Francesco Minoia
Works management: TA Architettura, Mestre, Italy: Diego Boldo, Giulia Conti, Anna Lisa Girolami, Alberto Torsello

General contractor: SACAIM, Marghera (Venice), Italy
Project coordination: Artelia, Milan, Italy: Giorgio Alberti, Giuseppe Baudille, Matteo Lavazza, Marco Paolacci, Massimo Vedovato
Structural engineer: Arup, Milan, Italy: Federico Bormetti, Luca Buzzoni, Guglielmo Carra, Giammichele Melis
Services engineer: Arup, Milan, Italy: Paolo Bianchi, Paolo Cresci
Acoustic consultant: Manens Tifs, Verona, Italy: Marco Trame, Roberto Zecchin
Fire consultant: Studio Mistretta, Milan, Italy: Valentina Liggi, Silvestre Mistretta
Façade consultant: Arup, Milan, Italy: Konrad Runggaldier
Lighting consultant: Viabizzuno, Bentivoglio (Bologna), Italy: Giacomo Coppe, Francesco Finetti, Mario Nanni, Giulia Pulga


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