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8 July Jul 2014 1547 2 years ago

The face of the Duomo at the Venice Bienniale

From 7 June to 23 November, plans for the Cathedral facade will be on display at the Padiglione Italia


The Milan Duomo will feature from June 7 to November 23 2014 at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale.

The project for the Padiglione Italia, entitled Innesti/Grafting, , has been curated by the architect Cino Zucchi. The theme of the two rooms in the Padiglione is the use of the grafting technique in existing architectural and urban projects.

Both ancient and recent urban Italian history are rich with examples that demonstrate the way in which, despite the multi-layered urban fabric of the peninsula, all architectural projects have succeeded in interpreting and incorporating existing urban processes. To carry out, in fact, a graft: skilfully inserting new into old.

Throughout its evolution over six centuries, the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo has proved able to unite different languages, bringing together historic techniques with modern technology. The Cathedral as we know it exists thanks to the ability of architects and craftsmen to guide the metamorphosis of the existing basilicas in the old square: those of Santa Maria Maggiore and Santa Tecla.

The facade of the Cathedral also represents a true graft on the existing Santa Maria Maggiore exterior; the demolition of the latter only began in 1683, with the start of the construction of the wall structure of the new frontage. The images of the Duomo on display at the Biennale, taken from the Veneranda Fabbrica archive (in the photos of Marina Caneve), tell the story of the search for a new face for the Cathedral.

Inside the Padiglione Italia, in the room Milan: A modern laboratory, a total of 64 digital copies of albumen print photographs taken during the 19th century are on display.

These are reproductions of designs for the facade of the cathedral, including those by Pellegrino Tibaldi, Vanvitelli, Carlo Buzzi and Luca Beltrami, which provide evidence of a shipbuilding tradition which is still active and able to evolve and to blend the new with the old.

For more information on the exhibition, visit: http://www.labiennale.org/it/architettura/.