OMA wins planning to convert Venice palazzo into department store

OMA wins planning to convert Venice palazzo into department store

News: Rem Koolhaas' OMA has been granted planning permission to transform a building on Venice's Grand Canal into a department store and public event space.

The decision follows two years of bickering over the fate of the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, which was bought by the property group of fashion retailer Benetton five years ago.

First constructed in 1228, the building has been completely rebuilt twice and was most recently in use as a post office.

OMA wins planning to convert Venice palazzo into department store

Above: cultural events will take place inside the building following OMA's renovation

OMA's scheme, which was unveiled at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2010, originally included plans to insert escalators and remove two sides of the roof to create a terrace overlooking the Grand Canal.

Following pressure from conservation groups, however, the firm made a number of changes to the plans, including altering the positioning of the roof terrace on top of the building so that no parts of the roof need to be demolished.

OMA founder Rem Koolhaas was recently revealed as director of the next Venice Architecture Biennale in 2014, which is themed around the concept of "fundamentals" and will chart the emergence of a "a single modern language" in global architecture.

The firm last week announced the departure of managing director Victor van der Chijs, who joined in 2005 and helped to grow the company into a 350-strong workforce.

See all architecture by OMA »

Images are by OMA.