Fondaco dei TedeschiEdit profile
The Fondaco dei Tedeschi, formerly a trading post for German merchants, then a customs house, now stands as a muted icon of the Venetian mercantile era. First constructed in 1228, twice destroyed by fire and rebuilt (in its current form in 1506), then subject to a series of major architectural interventions to accommodate new uses (towers removed, courtyard covered with glass, structure rebuilt again...), the Fondaco has constantly reshaped itself: its preservation is a history of change. The current role as a post office has diminished in tandem with the native population of Venice, leaving the bulk of the building unused for the first time in centuries. The latest evolution of the Fondaco will create a thriving contemporary trading post in the form of a culturally-programmed department store. The courtyard will be used for events, art, and cinema, reactivating the historic Venetian connection between culture and commerce. The renovated top floor becomes a unique public space: two sides of the existing roof will be removed, leaving the building’s profile intact and creating a terrace with views of the Grand Canal and Rialto, and offering a rare vantage point on Venice’s dense roofscape.