Architectural restoration: plans by Alberto Torsello, Carlo Aymonino, Gabriella Barbini

The restoration of the monumental complex of the Royal Gardens of Venice renews the principles and urban and architectural themes that gave life to the nineteenth-century project. In ensuring that the Gardens function as in times past and restoring this space in the city and the Piazza San Marco area, correct rapport between parts and their surroundings has been re-established in symbiosis with their context. The many varied architectural and botanical aspects of the work carried out respect historic stratification, revealing the matrix of the original plans for the garden and adjacent Cafehaus. One of the preliminary operations included in the project was the demolition of structures that were out of keeping with the style of the gar- den, including the reinforced concrete bunker built during the second world war.
Now that the garden, Santi’s neoclassical pavilion and the nineteenth-century pergola have been restored, the main greenhouse and smaller greenhouse rebuilt, and the historic drawbridge is once more functioning, the Royal Gardens have regained their former splendor and are again connected to Piazza San Marco. Dialogue between ancient and modern, urban and residential connections, technological updating and reconstitution/restitution of this large public garden, are now revitalizing one of the most important areas in the city, in line with principles of reuse and respect for the energies of the past.