Venice Biennale 2022: Sanlorenzo’s ARENA Introduces New Perspectives On Canal Grande

Sanlorenzo, the world’s first monobrand shipyard, knows how to surprise by embracing new creative languages in the world of arts and craftsmanship. In parallel to being the main sponsor of the Italian Pavillon at the 59th Vennice Biennale, the (super) yacht builder also presents a new kind of artwork in Venice this year: ARENA. A stunning architectual installation, that is located in the splendid gardens of ACP Palazzo Franchetti, facing the Grand Canal and visible from crossing Ponte dell’Accademia. It’s a magical place, not only surrounded by the beauty of Venice but also reflecting it.

Entering ARENA felt like being on a yacht and forgetting the time. The breeze, that was going through Venice on that day, made the feeling of a glorious summer day on sea complete. ARENA looks different from each perspective – and at different times of the day. A mesmerizing symbiosis of architecture, art, „passione“, reflection and light.

The renowned Italian Architect Piero Lissoni (who also is the Art Director of Sanlorenzo) is the mastermind behind this installation. I met him alongside Massimo Perotti (Chairman of Sanlorenzo) and Sergio Buttiglieri (Style Director of Sanlorenzo) in Venice.

Lissoni says to me „Look, it’s a magic carpet. You sit here and you forget the rest of the world. You are in the present moment, where you can reflect and dream.“ Perotti adds: you can look things from different perspectives. It represents life and the Italian spirit. It’s a public space, for people to meet, sit down, chat and have a good time, enjoy the view on Canal Grande and the atmosphere of Venice.“

Inspired by its Italian heritage, Sanlorenzo wants to support its Italian innovation through collaboration. A unique space for Venice: ARENA consists of a metal platform with a geometric, telescopic shape. The entire floor converses with the animated and inanimate elements that surround it, while a play of steps moves the circulation flow on the platform and turns it into a convivial place that relates to its surroundings.

Piero Lissoni explains: „The inspiration behind the project is the desire to give a new perspective of the city of Venice to be experienced by its visitors throughout the seven months of the Biennale: ARENA will also become a place for gatherings and intellectual exchange, hosting meetings with leading figures from the world of culture, art and design.“

A truly majestic project for Venice, that reflects the beauty of the city and the values as well as style and character of Sanlorenzo. It’s a project of Sanlorenzo Arts, an initiative to create a dialogue and build bridges between the current issues of the world through design and new perspectives.

Sanlorenzo’s actions have moved internationally over the years, leading the company to collaborate with important galleries and cultural institutions, such as a global partnership with Art Basel. The Italian shipyard is also Institutional Patron of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, the most important museum in Italy for 20th century European and American art.

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