United Koolhaas of Benetton

OMA is to oversee the transformation of a building in Venice to a shopping centre: What does this indicate to us that the author of Singapore Songlines which criticizes the hollowing out or Disneyfication of Singapore here contributes tot eh same situation in the worlds most famous “theme park”  What  wlll it look like, this Theme within a Theme – how we we differentiate the significance of Venice from its signifiers?  Will Koolhaas’ superior “Starchitect” status improve the lagoon cities sinking feeling?

Benetton to build shopping mall in historic Venice building. The 16th-century Fondaco dei Tedeschi has been abandoned for year.

Italian clothes maker Benetton signed a deal to restore a historic palace in Venice and turn it into a shopping center as the watery city taps the private sector to help fund costly projects.

 

The 16th-century Fondaco dei Tedeschi has been abandoned for years and its sale and restoration are estimated to be worth around $130 million although the details of the agreement were not immediately known.

The building, which was the headquarters for the city’s German merchant community for centuries, also served as Venice’s central post office in the 20th century. It is located on the Grand Canal near the famous Rialto Bridge. “Benetton’s proposal is very good,” Venice mayor Giorgio Orsonisaid, adding that the project would help with “the revival of the historic centre”.

Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas is overseeing the restoration and Benetton said the new centre would employ around 400 people and draw crowds of visitors. Orsoni drew controversy with the art world earlier this year by funding the restoration of the Bridge of Sighs by allowing advertisers including jewelry giant Bulgari to drape giant billboards over the bridge during its restoration.

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