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Cloudscapes, Transsolar & Tetsuo Kondo Architects, Architecture Biennale

Venice is famous for its architectural conservatism, to the extent that when a building fell over and needed to be rebuilt, it was nearly always replaced exactly as it was, dov'e era, com'e era (the classic example is St Mark's Campanile). Which of course is as essential as the canals to the city's charm today.

Although the city's decorative Byzantine-Veneto Gothic with its lancet arches is the most immediately recognizable as the 'Venetian' style, there was a change in the mid-15th century, after the Ottomans conquered Constantinople (founded long ago by the emperor Constantine as the 'new Rome').

Venice in fact began to regard itself as the new new Rome and embraced the Renaissance, starting with the gate to the Arsenale and buildings by the delightful Mauro Codussi and reaching a peak of classicizing in the works of Sansovino and Palladio.

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Bartolomeo Bon

Master of Venetian Gothic

Giovanni Bon

Gothic refinement

Filippo Calendario

Master architect of the Palazzo Ducale

Mauro Codussi

Renaissance synthesizer

Antonio Gambello

The first Renaissance architect in Venice

Antonio Gaspari

Late Baroque student of Longhena

Guglielmo de’ Grigi

A versatile sculptor and architect

Pietro Lombardo

Lombardo clan pater

Sante Lombardo

Architect son of Tullio

Tullio Lombardo

Renaissance marble master

Baldassare Longhena

Venice's Baroque master builder

Giorgio Massari

Early Rococo and Neoclassical design


The first professional architect

Antonio da Ponte

Bridge builder

Michele Sanmicheli

Venice's fortifications wiz

Jacopo Sansovino

Master of the Venetian High Renaissance

Giuseppe Sardi

Designer of church facades

Vincenzo Scamozzi

Palladio's closest follower

Carlo Scarpa

Venice's great 20th century architect and designer


Nickname of Antonio Abbondi

Sebastiano Serlio

Author of the Seven Books of Architecture

Gian Antonio Selva

Architect of La Fenice

Antonio Visentini

Designer and engraver

Alessandro Vittoria

Venice's Mannerist master

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Images by Fulvio Spada from Torino, Italy, seier+seier