The Migliore+Servetto studio was chosen by Generali Group to design the new headquarters of The Human Safety Net. The 3000 sqm project includes the Interior, Exhibition & Multimedia Design of the third floor and the reception spaces on the ground floor of the Procuratie Vecchie in Piazza San Marco, with artistic direction by Davide Rampello. The project is divided into four distinct areas: an exhibition path with an innovative concept; a café; a co-working area with functional zones reserved for the Foundation’s activities; event rooms that flank the auditorium.
The overall intervention translates into an integrated project that ranges from space to graphics and the design of the digital content and all interactions, through the study of materials and the light design, with an innovative and experimental approach – the Studio’s true stylistic calling card – generating sustainable and inclusive spaces, created “for sharing” and designed in relation to the users’ behaviours, expectations and needs.
The exhibition has been conceptualised by Migliore+Servetto as a progression of experiences and develops according to a prologue, three acts and an epilogue that lead visitors to discover their own potential, starting from values such as creativity, kindness, perseverance, gratitude, curiosity, hope, social intelligence and teamwork, identified by the curators Orna Cohen and Andreas Heinecke of DSE – Dialogue for Social Enterprise. These abstract concepts have been translated by Migliore+Servetto into 16 interactive machines à montrer.
Both analogue and digital, they are capable of engaging the most diverse audiences and generating reflection and self-analysis. The central themes of the project are inclusion, innovation and sustainability, as is very evident from the beginning of the exhibition path thanks to the use of i-Mesh natural fibre fabric. Its texture, designed ad hoc by the studio, interacts with light and shade through its natural property, staying in perfect harmony with the Studio’s design approach and with the experimentation involving the environmental perception of spaces.
The referencing of Venetian-ness and the genius loci of the intervention is also strong, both in terms of content and materials, thanks to the collaboration with local craftsmen. The link to the city is built on several levels, starting from the visual continuity with Piazza San Marco. Indeed, particular importance has been given to the 100 sixteenth-century oculi that run along the long side of the entire floor overlooking the hub of city life, giving a pictorial value to the whole, as well as establishing a direct relationship with Venice, which has welcomed and embraced cultures from all over the world.
In some of these openings, the view has been enhanced through a technological enlargement system that, like Canaletto’s optical machines, allows visitors to immerse themselves in the life of the piazza, through a new way of interacting with it. In addition, the installation ‘Window on Venice’ allows you to make a leap through time, exploring in 3D how various places of the city were in the sixteenth century, such as the Giudecca, the Rialto Bridge, the Arsenale, Burano and Murano.
The partitions of the spaces and the furnishings, all purpose designed by Migliore+Servetto, are placed in dialogue with the existing structures, enhancing the division of the architectural volumes of the top floor of the Procuratie. In turn, they also evoke the deep Venetian roots of the place through the materials used: glass, copper , wood, mirrors. The typically Venetian bricole (the oak wooden poles used in the lagoon to mark the navigable paths) constitute the backbone of the installation for the exhibition path dedicated to team work, which refers to the lagoon’s body of water. The café’s benches, made from natural wood, recall those of the historic Venetian cafés.
The glass chandeliers located in the café and in the reception spaces are made by Benvenuto Mastri Vetrai and designed to represent identity in dialogue with natural and artificial light. Venice’s bond with the theatre and masks also inspired the installation that welcomes visitors, which arose from an idea by Davide Rampello: the wooden puppets of Arlecchino, Pantalone and Colombina, handcrafted by the skilled hands of the Carlo Colla Atelier and animated by a sophisticated technology, address visitors first in Venetian, and then interact directly in their own language, creating a initial moment of hospitality. Source Migliore+Servetto and photos Courtesy of SEC Newgate Spa.