Palazzo Franchetti

Intervention: Conservation, restoration, technological modernisation

Venice, Italy, 2003 - 2005
Function: Congress centre (with meeting rooms, study, press-office), Exhibition Centre (with facilities such as cafeteria), offices
Client: Venezia Iniziative Culturali società unipersonale s. r.l.
Dimensions: total indoor area 4,100 m2, outdoor area 1,690 m2
Stage: completed

The great fifteenth-century palazzo overlooking the Grand Canal was purchased by the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere e Arti as a venue for cultural activities such as conferences and art exhibitions. The abundance of space would make it possible for important international organisations to have their offices in the building.


As a result, diverse activities, and a large conference room in particular were foreseen, with flexible spaces for exhibitions, offices and meeting rooms of different sizes, as well as a cafeteria.


Restoration and adaptation was carried out in two stages, at different levels that were interrelated: architectural and artistic restoration (involving areas of great decorative quality such as the monumental staircase completed in 1886 on a project by Camillo Boito), functional adaptation of the rooms, technological modernisation, and meeting safety requirements, those regarding fire-prevention measures in particular.


Of great significance in this regard was the creation of a large glass wall that separated the main entrance from the Salone del portego, used as an auditorium. It was designed in such a way as to allow the visual continuity between the two rooms, to allow the use of multimedia technological equipment, and to protect the building against fire should one break out.


Palazzo Franchetti is now one of the few historical Venetian buildings to have been granted fire prevention certification.