Punta della Dogana
Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute
Guarding the entrance to the Grand Canal, this 17th-century domed church was commissioned by Venice’s plague survivors as thanks for...
Chiesa di San Moisè
Icing flourishes of carved stone across the 1660s facade make this church appear positively lickable, although 19th-century architecture...
Grand Canal palaces rank among the world’s most desirable real estate, and multi-coloured marble Gothic marvel Ca’ Dario casts a...
L'Ombra del Leoni
Lucky Biennale folk have Grand Canal views from their upstairs offices in Ca' Giustinian, but you too can enjoy the palazzo's peerless...
Punta della Dogana information
Fortuna, the weathervane atop Punta della Dogana, swung Venice’s way in 2005, when bureaucratic hassles in Paris convinced art collector François Pinault to showcase his works in Venices's long-abandoned customs warehouses. Built by Giuseppe Benoni in 1677 to ensure no ship entered the Grand Canal without paying duties, the warehouses re-opened in 2009 after a striking reinvention by Tadao Ando. The dramatic space now hosts rotating exhibitions of ambitious, large-scale contemporary artworks from some of the world's most prolific and provocative creative minds.
The building itself is an intriguing work. Inside, the Japanese architect stripped back centuries of alterations and additions, returning the interior to its pure form of red brick and wooden beams. Within this pared-back space, Ando added his own contemporary vision, cutting windows in Benoni's ancient water gates to reveal cutaway views of passing ships, adding floating concrete staircases in honour of innovative Venetian modernist Carlo Scarpa, and erecting his own trademark polished concrete panels.The end result is a conscious and dramatic juxtaposition of the old and the new, one that simultaneously pays due to the city’s seafaring history and its changing architecture.