20/11/2020 - A preservation and restoration project is, by its nature, an intervention of recovery and restitution. The primary intent is to project a building into the future, keeping the old and the new together. That’s not all. There is another, much higher goal in preservation and restoration: that of re-establishing the connection between the components of an area, to create a dialogue between landscape and building. Preservation and restoration bring order, re-establishing harmony between the built parts and nature.
Restoration, however, proves to be truly successful if it is also innovative, that is, when the historical demands are fully reconciled with the functional, economic and sustainability demands. The innovation is dictated first of all by the use of the materials, that must be sustainable and functional.
The Royal Gardens of Venice, commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte in the early nineteenth century, were reopened in December 2019 thanks to complex restoration promoted and carried out by the Venice Gardens Foundation. The Foundation, in virtue of the State Concession Act and with a spirit of patronage, will handle the management and growth of the Gardens over time. The work on the botanical restoration was entrusted to Paolo Pejrone while the work on the architectural restoration and reinstatement of the Greenhouse was entrusted to Alberto Torsello from TA Torsello Architettura, who reverted to and interpreted designs by architects Carlo Aymonino and Gabriella Barbini.
The Royal Gardens are now connected once again to Piazza San Marco via a historical drawbridge. The Gardens, which are open to the public, extend over a surface area of approximately 5,000 square metres and overlook the San Marco Basin. They are surrounded by canals and, looking out onto these canals, stand the Correr Museum, the Imperial Halls of the Royal Palace, the Archaeological Museum and the Marciana Library.
Since the 1950s, the Napoleonic Gardens, a source of pride for the city throughout the nineteenth century, had progressively lost their balanced relationship with the neighbouring architecture and had been experiencing serious problems for several decades. The Cafèhaus, the neoclassical pavilion built by the architect Lorenzo Santi between 1816 and 1817, was also undergoing evident problems, while the nineteenth-century cast iron pergola, the gate and the historic drawbridge were in a state of neglect.
For the roofs of the Royal buildings, in particular the greenhouse, it was decided that a material considered to be the evolution and the contemporary version of lead would be used , in a sort of continuity with the lead present on the dome of the Pavilion of the Saints and on numerous other domes in Venice.
Zintek proved to be the ideal partner for carrying out this work. Its rolled titanium zinc was the best solution, not only for the ecological and functional aspects, but also for landscape and formal aspects. Zintek was able to dialogue with the designer, to understand the needs and identify the solutions even in delicate contexts like the garden of the most famous square in the world.
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