The project of Palazzo Grassi proves that minimal design and performances can live beautifully together.
The main concept of minimalism in society is that along with this aesthetic there is always calmness and peace. It is hard to imagine something active, hard or heavy within it. But as time passes, even this aesthetic evolves and experiences change too, which perhaps 5 years ago might have been impossible to imagine. World renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando—a clear trailblazer and vanguard—has proven to people that minimalism can have a connection with a slight touch of industrial design and performance arts.
His project—Palazzo Grassi—represents the aesthetics which are displayed not only through the choice of materials, but also in the choice of forms, that silently hide the vibes of music that are produced in the building's conference halls and rooms.
Palazzo Grassi is a contemporary arts centre inside an eighteenth-century palace in Venice. The location itself offers a touch of charm to the project as well. The Teatrino is the third phase of Tadao Ando's renovation of Palazzo Grassi, which is now owned by luxury goods tycoon François Pinault. Ando added this extra building as a venue for conferences and performances. The curved concrete walls separate the 220-seat auditorium from reception areas and also creates an illusion of never-ending forms, reminiscent of waves of music and art. The dressing rooms and storage areas provide a blank canvas for hanging artwork or film projections.
The most interesting effect was created through the well-considered lighting design. The ceiling lights are hidden, creating a mystical effect which also gives a very clean look to the space. Only the façade of the original building remains, with the new structure erected behind. It is a typically outstanding project Ando that keeps us wondering what kind of performances might be shown in a minimalist and aesthetic place like this.