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Cultural Centre inside an ancient crane

Outline proposal, detailed proposal, final proposal, artistic supervision renovation of a XIX century crane in the Arsenale of Venice in a cultural centre.


The Porta Nuova Tower – located at the water entrance on the north side of the dock of the Novissima Arsenale of Venice – dates from the first half of XIX century. It was designed and built for masting vessels, but quickly fell into disuse because of the changing technologies of naval engineering.

The aim of the project – winner of the design competition launched in 2006 by the Arsenale di Venezia Spa – was to ensure the conservation and enhancement of the spatiality of the historic building, in unison with the needs arising from the insertion of new features to turn it into a cultural center.

The building is tripartite in its interior. On the ground floor, we organized spaces for the reception and the conference rooms. On the first floor, we created an exhibition area. Different levels are provided for the mezzanine offices. We first recognized and then interpreted the unity and continuity of the vertical space that starts from the first floor, while taking into consideration the typological and structural characteristics of this kind of industrial building. The new distribution of the partitions and volumes, necessary for hosting the main systems equipment, has them configured as separate items and always recognizable in contrast to the original bricked structures. The lift systems are always volumetrically independent of the existing walls. The materials used (exposed concrete, fiber cement panels to the floor, sheets of waxed cor-ten steel) always converse with the preexisting ones by the contrast in texture and pattern.

Arsenale di Venezia Spa

dimension: 800 mq 9.455 mc
budget: 4.137.355,37 euro
project: 2006-2008
completed: 2009-2011

Matteo Sirinati

041 srl
studio Vio

Alessandra ChemolloORCH
MAP studio
Udo Mainel

— 2013. European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture — Mies van der Rohe Award 2013, Torre di Porta Nuova project nominated
— 2011. International 2011 Piranesi, Honorable Mention for Torre di Porta Nuova project
— 2011. XXXI Torta prize for the renovation of Venice for Torre di Porta Nuova project

— 2019. UnDoing exhibition Castlefield gallery Manchester UK
— 2011. Piranesi International Award, Piran SL

— Rereadings 2 – Torre di Porta Nuova, Torre di Porta Nuova included in the selected projects, pg. 95-97, RIBA publishing, 2018 — Torre di Porta Nuova monograph, Torre di Porta Nuova in Venice transformed in a cultural centre, Esail Lab - Ecole Supérieure d'Architecture de Lyon, 2017 — MAP studio, BSI Swiss Architecture Award 2014, pg. 116-119, Silvana Editoriale, 2014 — Torre di Porta Nuova, Architetture contemporanee a Venezia, pg. 74-77, Marsilio, 2014 — Torre di Porta Nuova, Guida alla architettura Venezia, pg. 144-145, DOM publishers, 2014 — Arsenale ieri e oggi, Progetti Nazionale n° 7, pg. 66-73, Quid Edizioni, 2013 — Map Studio Centre Culturel/Venise, AMC Intérieurs 2012, pg. 64-67, Groupe Moniteur, 2012 — Piranesi Mention 2011 Herojski vertikalni podvig, Piranesi n° No. 31 Vol. 20, pg. 60-67, Ustanova Fundacija Piranesi, 2012 — Torre di Porta Nuova / Casa di accoglienza per ragazzi disabili, Novecento Architetture e città del Veneto, pg. 303, 1112, Il Poligrafo, 2012 — Turnul Porta Nuova, de arhitectura n° 33, pg. 14-21, Arhitekt Studio A, 2012 — Ein Werkzeug zum Hochgehen, Bauwelt n° 20.11, pg. 22-31, Bauverlag BV GmbH, 2011 — L’albero maestro dell’Arsenale, EST n° 17, pg. 46-57, Ance Veneto, 2011 — Magnani/Pelzel Torre di Porta Nuova, Arsenale di Venezia, Casabella n° 802, pg. 2-19, Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, 2011 — Map Studio Torre di Porta Nuova, Arsenale, Venezia, Identità dell’architettura italiana n° 09, pg. 78-79, Edizioni Tielleci, 2011 — Torre di Porta Nuova, Premio Torta per il restauro di Venezia 2011, Grafiche Veneziane, 2011 — La Società Arsenale di Venezia quale strumento di realizzazione del progetto di riqualificazione urbana, Cattedrali dell’archeologia industriale costiera, pg. 35, EditGraf, 2006

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