Tadao Ando, Punta della Dogana, Venice, Italy, 2009
Tadao Ando is a japanese architect born in 1941 in Osaka. He is known to use the local culture and context in his architecture. Because of this particularity he belongs to the “critical regionalism” movement by Francesco Dal Co. You can experiment this particularity through the following example : Punta della Dogana, in Venise.
The main building of the Punta della Dogana, or the Sea Customs house, has a triangular shape, internally it is divided into nine naves, an average width of ten meters and a height of seven meters, at the entrance. The interventions of restoration of the walls try to highlight the various stratifications, thus giving them the document of history. Ando inserts few and timely interventions paying attention to the progress of the routes that lead from one warehouse to another. The new passages were made in the masonry as anonymous as possible while the systems and technological devices are shown in all their needs. A new full height space is inserted in a central position that crosses the two floors, right where a pre-existing court stood. The square-based space, with sides that are approximately 16 meters long and 6 meters high, is defined by the typical Ando cement walls and are interrupted only by two openings that allow visitors to pass through. This space, the stairs leading to the balconies, the balustrades, the handrails and the few finished surfaces are inserted into the existing building without touching it, adopting only a few existing materials without touching it, adopting only a few materials easily distinguishable from the original. The contrast between the tactile and visual qualities of the materials: smooth, bright and perfect the new ones ; encrusted, corroded, mixed and rough that reveal the buildings and their history.