The brass railings and cladding of the new «T Fondaco dei Tedeschi» luxury centre were supplied by Gonzato Contract from Vicenza, which designed them according to the design of star architect Rem Koolhaas and architect Carlo Cappai of the C+S Architects firm.
THE PROJECT INCLUDED THE CREATION OF THE RAILINGS FOR THE PANORAMIC ROOF TERRACE, FOR THE OPENINGS ON THE ESCALATOR SHAFT AND FOR THE INTERNAL STAIRCASE ON WHICH PARTICULAR COVERINGS HAVE ALSO BEEN INSTALLED. A TOTAL OF 20 TONS OF BRASS WERE USED FOR THE PRODUCTION OF THE SEMI-FINISHED PRODUCTS DESIGNED BY ARCHITECT REM KOOLHAAS AND BY ARCHITECT CARLO CAPPAI OF THE C+S ARCHITECTS FIRM. THE METAL USED IS BOTH RAW AND WITH SELECTIVE OXIDATION IN 15 GRADATIONS.
PART OF THE TOTAL 260 METRES OF RAILINGSS WERE MADE IN VERTICAL PLATES WITH VARIABLE SECTIONS WITH SPECIAL MECHANICAL FASTENING SYSTEMS, THROUGH HIDDEN PINS, WHICH AVOID THE USE OF WELDINGS, GUARANTEEING MAXIMUM STRUCTURAL STIFFNESS AT THE SAME TIME. A LED LIGHTING SYSTEM HAS BEEN INSERTED IN THE HANDRAILS OF THE INTERNAL STAIRS, WHICH NOWADAYS IS THE MAXIMUM EXPRESSION OF ENERGY-SAVING ARCHITECTURAL FUNCTIONALITY. A STEEL SUBSTRUCTURE HAS BEEN MADE FOR THE SIDE AND LOWER COVERINGS OF THE MAIN STAIRCASE, TO WHICH THE BRASS SHEETS HAVE BEEN ATTACHED. IN ORDER TO GUARANTEE THE CONTINUITY OF THE METALLIC COVERING TO THE PARTICULAR SHAPE OF THE LADDER, EACH PANELING HAS BEEN DESIGNED INDIVIDUALLY, AS WELL AS THE HIDDEN FASTENING SYSTEMS. TO AVOID THE EFFECT OF GALVANIC CORROSION, THE CONTACT POINTS BETWEEN THE STEEL STRUCTURE AND THE BRASS PANELS HAVE BEEN PROPERLY INSULATED. THE DESIGN OF ALL METALLIC ELEMENTS WAS CARRIED OUT BY THE C+S ARCHITECTS FIRM AND PRODUCED BY THE EXPERTS OF GONZATO CONTRACT, DIVISION OF IND.I.A. SPA (MALO – VICENZA) DEDICATED TO MAJOR WORKS, WHILE THE PRODUCTION WAS ENTRUSTED TO THE ARTISANS OF ARTEFERRO, ANOTHER DIVISION OF THE COMPANY DEDICATED TO THE PRODUCTION OF SEMI-FINISHED ORNAMENTAL PRODUCTS.
This intervention was part of the overall restoration and functional recovery project of the building, owned by the Benetton group, for which the OMA firm of Rem Koolhaas, the C+S Architect firm and the Italian construction company Sacaim were called for the executive project. Starting from Saturday 1 October 2016, the date of the official inauguration, the Fondaco dei Tedeschi has rediscovered its original destination with its 7,900 square meters of commercial space, becoming the first Dfs-branded department store in Europe, the travel retail division of the global luxury giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. The palace, which dates back to 1228, overlooking the Grand Canal in a position adjacent to the Rialto Bridge, was the centre of Venetian trade, then became customs in the Napoleonic era and headquarters of the post office in the 1900s. The project intends to go beyond the traditional concept of the department store, in order to constitute a meeting place for the city and promote events open to the public in collaboration with the cultural Venetian institutions.
Tedeschi. Due to several factors, this order has a great value for us. The privilege of collaborating with an international star architect like Rem Koolhaas, the prestige of the organisations involved in the project and the awareness of the fact that we have installed our metal in a commercial and cultural centre where visitors, coming from all over the world, will be able to enjoy Italian architecture, art and hospitality, together with a high standard commercial offer, guaranteed by Louis Vuitton».