Venice Biennale – ticket-booth

Ticket office for the Biennale, 1951-52, Giardini di Castello, Venice.

The ticket office of the Giardini della Biennale is a little-known work by Carlo Scarpa, despite the fact that several thousand people pass by each year.

The ticket office for the entrance to the gardens of the Venice Biennale was created by Carlo Scarpa in 1951-52, in conjunction with the 26th Venice International Art Biennale, together with the more famous sculpture courtyard of the Italian Pavilion. The small artifact is placed in front of the current entrance to the exhibition gardens and normally you do not need to pay the ticket for the exhibition to visit it.

It is not one of the most famous works of the master and it is not easy to find material on the web, apart from this drawing on the website of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, while on it is not even mentioned among the works. However, it is part of the panorama of museum installations and exhibition pavilions that characterized the work of the Venetian architect to a fair extent.

Even if it is a small ticket office, however unusable with today's influx of visitors to the international art or architecture exhibitions held every year in Venice, Scarpa's hand is unmistakable.
The use of different materials and the precision of the details brings to his other best-known works, from Querini Stampalia to Castelvecchio, to that craftsmanship, to drawing to see and then to realize, without apparent interruption between paper and construction site.
Even this small ticket office does not exempt itself from proposing figurative references that are the result of a skilful manipulation of images and memory that is expressed in the refinement of the detail and in the contextualization of the materials used.

Carlo Scarpa craftsman of architecture

It is worth remembering Augusto Capovilla, founder of the homonymous Venetian carpentry, with whom Carlo Scarpa began to collaborate as early as 1935, to testify to an "artisan" partnership that led the architect to design the family tomb upon Augustus' death in 1943. and the carpentry to restore, reassemble and replace the ticket office in 2006.
Just reassembled and relocated, as it was designed, to stay out between spring and autumn (exhibition period) and then be disassembled and put in storage.
Like a boat in storage during the bad season: the sails that act as cover are detached, the three "masts" that support them are removed and everything is put away for when it will be nice.
Even the lanceolate shape of the roof and the plan are reminiscent of a boat, as well as the rounded wood of the uprights and the curved one of the bench refer to the nautical one, but also the shelves used by the conductors suggest the minimal and essential interiors of a boat.
Now it is not taken apart anymore, during the winter it is covered to protect it.

As with other works by Scarpa, particular attention must be paid to connections and joints, elements studied ad hoc, almost similar to the imagery of watchmaking, which become an ornament of the artifact and explain how its components behave precisely where they interact with each other. 'with each other.
In this sense, the slats that support the sail grafted onto the metal structure, the contacts between the concrete base, the wood of the counter and the transparent glass without frame on the "public" front are to be read, while it is instead framed and translucent in the wall of service.
Similarly, the metal hooks and ropes that hold the sails taut, making them easy to disassemble, establish a certain "seafaring" dialogue with the wooden coatings that soften the three metal uprights, making them less cold to the touch where people can pass through the turnstile and at the same time preserve the wood from being damaged by the ground, from which it is suspended, and by the rain, from which it is protected with a special lid.

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