An exhibition concept and design

Project data

  • Year
    1984 – 1987
  • Tipology
    Exhibition Design
  • Location
    Venice, Italy
  • Client
    ing. C. Olivetti & C. Spa, Ivrea (Torino), Italy
  • Budget
    150.000 € (adjusted to 2013)
  • Total Area/Surface/Volume
    530 sq m


The connecting thread of this project is a result of the need to transport and outfit the masterpieces of “St Mark’s Treasure” in different locations throughout the world.

The works on display are put inside “pyramid-shaped showcases” in glass supported by four columns. In these showcases, which are identical for all the exhibition locations, lighting plays a fundamental role: an invisible light source comes from the top of the pyramids and highlights the beauty of the “treasure” from every viewpoint, to the extent of cancelling out the very presence of the glass protecting them.

The surrounding space, where the showcases are placed for each of the successive exhibitions, is maintained in an image-enhancing semi-darkness.

Every exhibition will have its own specific design held together by the unvarying showcases.

The exhibition, inaugurated at the Grand Palais, continued its tour at the Römisch-Germanisches Museum in Cologne, at the British Museum in London, at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, at the County Museum of Art in Los Angeles, at the Museum of Art in Dallas, at the Art Institute in Chicago, at the Palazzo del Quirinale in Rome, at the Palazzo Reale in Milan to end the tour at the Palazzo Ducale in Venice.

– Ermanno Ranzani –


Mario Bellini Architects

Design Team
Mario Bellini  with Giovanna Bonfanti

Project Team
Giovanna Bonfanti, Dario Bellini

Graphic design:
Roberto Pieraccini
Mario Carrieri