Negozio Olivetti, carlo Scarpa's trademark lines are in evidence throughout the store

Negozio Olivetti


Like a revolver pulled from a petticoat, ultramodern Negozio Olivetti was an outright provocation when it first appeared under the frilly arcades of the Procuratie Vecchie in 1958. High-tech pioneer Olivetti commissioned Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa to transform a narrow, dim souvenir shop into a showcase for its sleek typewriters and ‘computing machines’ (several 1948–54 models are displayed).

Instead of fighting the elements, Scarpa invited them indoors. He sliced away walls to let light flood in, included a huge planter for tall grasses and added a black slab-marble fountain as a wink at acque alte (high tide). Semicircular porthole windows resemble eyes open wide to the historic piazza and the Architecture Biennale's modernist horizons.

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