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we had just spent five days in milan working the 2012 salone de mobile and were winding down in venice for two days. because this was our first visit it was decided we would walk venice and allotted one hour to visit piazza san marco unless we found something of special interest. i went straight to the olivetti store only to find it closed. the old store, compared to the retailers surrounding it, looked like a polished museum artifact matching a few of the olivetti antiques i could see. you could also see a designer’s eye within the architectural build-out details inside. here’s a collection of images with links and a brief overview.
olivetti’s venice showroom and store was commissioned by adriano olivetti in the late 1950s to architect carlo scarpa who spent two years conceiving the space with a focus on transparencies and materials and was completed in 1959. following a period of restricted access, the store was restored in april 2011 and reopened as a museum, and olivetti has donated a priceless collection of vintage typewriters and calculators, iconic symbols of italy’s industrial and design heritage. [ olivetti manual typewriter ]