Project title: M9 museum district Venice-Mestre
General and technical report:
Project identification form:
client: Fondazione di Venezia
brief: Museum with media centre and auditorium as well as offices, conference centre, retail, restaurants
size: gross floor area 25.600 m²
competition: 2010, 1st prize
architects: Sauerbruch Hutton, Berlin
Louisa Hutton, Matthias Sauerbruch, Juan Lucas Young;
David Wegener, Bettina Magistretti, Carlos Alarcón Allen, Sibylle Bornefeld, Marc Borquetas-Maduell, Giuseppe Castellaneta, Stefan Fuhlrott, Costanza Governale, Anna Hollstein, Stephanie Heese, Philipp Hesse, Tarek Ibrahim, Remi Jalade, Ilja Leda, Jonas Luther, Gonzalo Portabella, Isabelle McKinnon, Konrad Opitz, Tanja Reiche, Nora Steinhöfel, Christian Töchterle-Knuth, Jörg Albeke, Philipp Eckhoff, Meta Popp
SCE project: Stefano De Cerchio, Franco Guslandi, Michela Balzano, Francesco Michelon, Federica Stefanelli, Davide Passannante
structural engineering: SCE project
H.E.G Hospital Engineering Group
Studio Tecnico Giorgio Destefani
fire strategy engineering:
Photo credits: Jan Bitter, Alessandra Chemollo
With the Museum Quarter M9, Sauerbruch Hutton has made an exemplary contribution to the preservation, conversion and redevelopment of the historic substance of a European city. As an office based in Berlin, they have a deep understanding of this type of work. The architects won the international competition in 2010 with their concept for a careful act of identity-making. As a result, they have inserted a new pulsating heart into the centre of Venice-Mestre, replenishing urban “lost places." Venice's little sister is moving out of her shadow into the light and awakening to a new life. The architecture of the new museum and accompanying buildings and public squares, nuanced in the colours of the surrounding area, strengthens or newly interweaves existing paths and views, creates vital spaces instead of wasteland, and heals the historical fabric of the city. Appreciating the European city as architectural heritage and reinterpreting it in a meaningful way in its urban transformation is a challenge that Sauerbruch Hutton has taken up time and again. The Mestrians' new pride is palpable, in having gained in addition to an exciting museum, a vivid new city quarter with bars and restaurants and thus a huge future-oriented stimulus.
M9 is a museum of the cultural inheritance of the 20th century, located in the heart of the new build museum quarter in Mestre, the mainland gateway to Venice. An agent of urban renewal, this educational institution and events venue provides a point of local identification and helps to redress the disparity of cultural wealth between Mestre and the tourist magnet across the lagoon.
The M9 scheme consists of one larger and one smaller new building – for the museum and its offices, respectively – plus a former convent and an office building. Together they frame a new public square and open up a diagonal pedestrian link from Piazza Erminia Ferretto to the important thoroughfare of Via Cappuccina. This passes through the courtyard of the 16th-century Convento delle Grazie, which was renovated and converted for uses that complement those of the small quarter. The route through the block is enlivened at street level by various cafés, restaurants and shops. The museum building likewise offers public facilities on the ground floor, including a media library, an auditorium, a museum shop and a café. A long, dramatic staircase leads up to the galleries and event spaces. M9 is an active museum with no thresholds to inhibit entry; it addresses residents and tourists, young and old alike. In its provision of a social location, the development as a whole sustains the lifeblood of the European city.
Sauerbruch Hutton is an international agency for architecture, urban planning and design that, founded in London in 1989, is now based in Berlin. The office's most important resource is an experienced team of 120 employees, who work in an interconnected, democratic and interdisciplinary environment, sharing tasks and responsibilities in a process of intensive dialogue. This equal and open working culture finds its equivalent in a contemporary company structure that, refreshed in 2020, sees responsibilities carried by a group of 19 partners and 10 associates. This broad base creates a flexible and dynamic environment that fosters the preservation and development of our common values.