An exemplary conversion of a historic customs house building, the Punto della Dogana was restored by Tadao Ando in 2008/9 with a new first floor, lift, staircases, café and other facilities added that are essential for a modern art gallery, all done using glass and concrete with a simplicity and robustness that complements the red brick walls of the original late 17th century building.
This summer it houses the second part of Damien Hirst’s epic exhibition of lost treasures from the wreck of the Unbelievable. Mickey is here again!
The difference from the Palazzi Grassi are the views out through the semi-circular windows which provides a watery and unique backcloth and the variety of spaces from tall voluminous vaults to lower height galleries below or above the new floor. Ando created a fantastic gallery building with a huge variety of individual spaces, interconnected with views from the gallery into the double-height volumes.
As at the Palazzio Grassi, the amount of work on show is astonishing, more so when you add the two venues together. Could any major archaeological museum mount anything of this scale away from the main base? You are left wondering what will happen to these treasures when the exhibition is finished.