The Teatrino is the third phase of Tadao Ando's renovation of the Palazzo Grassi, which is now owned by luxury goods tycoon François Pinault. After converting both the main building and the accompanying Punta della Dogana into contemporary art galleries, Ando added this extra building as a venue for conferences and performances.
Curving concrete walls separate the 220-seat auditorium from reception areas, dressing rooms and storage areas, providing a blank canvas for hanging artwork or film projection.
Lighting fixtures are tucked around the edges of a suspended ceiling in the main lobby, while triangular skylights offer a source of daylight.
The Teatrino occupies a space that once served as the palace's garden. More recently it had functioned as a theatre, but has been closed to the public since 1983.
Only the facade of the original building remains, with the new structure erected behind.
Other recent projects by Tadao Ando include a school of art, design and architecture at the University of Monterrey in Mexico. See more architecture by Tadao Ando »
Photography is by Orsenigo Chemollo.
Here's a project description from the design team:
The Teatrino of Palazzo Grassi
The François Pinault Foundation is strengthening its implementation within the artistic and cultural life of Venice. A new site, created for conferences, meetings, projections, concerts, etc., will be added to the ensemble of Palazzo Grassi-Punta della Dogana-François Pinault Foundation: the Teatrino, which will open its doors to the public in June 2013.
After the restoration of Palazzo Grassi in 2006, followed by that of Punta della Dogana, inaugurated in 2009, the rehabilitation of the Teatrino in 2013 constitutes the third step of François Pinault's broad cultural project for Venice. Conceived and conducted by Tadao Ando in close collaboration with the Municipality of Venice and the competent authorities and services (including the Superintendent of Architectural Assets and Landscapes of Venice), this restoration will maintain the spirit of architectural continuity of the preceding renovations. Work will begin in summer 2012 and last ten months.
Spread over a surface of 1,000 square meters, the Teatrino will be equipped with an auditorium of 220 seats, completed by reception areas and spaces for technical equipment (boxes, equipment for stage management and simultaneous translation, etc.). Thus, it will provide Palazzo Grassi-Punta della Dogana-François Pinault Foundation with optimal technical conditions (including acoustics) in a comfortable setting, in order to develop more fully the cultural dimension of its activities: meetings, conferences, workshops, lectures, concerts, performances, research, ... with an emphasis on the moving image (cinema, artist, films, video, video installations, ...). It will also reinforce the Foundation's role as a forum of exchange, meeting, and openness towards the city.
Located on the Calle delle Carrozze, alongside Palazzo Grassi, the Teatrino was conceived in 1857 to serve as the palace's garden. A century later, it was transformed into an open-air theatre, which was renovated and covered in 1961. It was abandoned in 1983 and has been closed to the public ever since.