“A building always reshapes new relations; it cannot be indifferent. In its central space, the Mart gathers together and highlights the language of the surroundings. The diversity of the languages – modern/old – becomes a richness
Since 2002, Mart Rovereto has been housed in the building designed by the Ticino-born architect, Mario Botta, in collaboration with Giulio Andreolli, an engineer from Rovereto. The building’s centre of gravity is the large glass and steel dome above the central access piazza to the Museum. The roof maintains a constant dialogue with light and covers an area of 1,300 square metres, is 25 metres high and has a diameter of 40 metres, exactly the same as the Pantheon in Rome. For the facades, Mario Botta chose a yellow stone of Vicenza to blend in with the 18th-century setting of corso Bettini.
Architecture that does not take into consideration the relationship with the town and surroundings is rejecting the most considerable part of its mandate”, he affirms. “At Rovereto, we started with a critical survey of what was already there – the corso, the buildings on it, the backdrop of mountains – attributing a relational role to our proposal".
The result is a dialogue between the Mart’s site and a series of historic, public and private buildings that announce the Museum while barely revealing it: Palazzo del Grano, Palazzo Alberti, the Teatro Zandonai and Palazzo dell’Annona. Around the Mart, to complete the Cultural Centre designed by Mario Botta, there are two other institutions: the Biblioteca Civica of Rovereto and Auditorium Fausto Melotti. The overall area occupied by the Mart is 29,000 square metres, of which 14,500 built over.
On the ground floor, the Mart Rovereto has its bookshop, a conference room and 4,300 square metres of exhibition space. On the first floor of the Museum, there are two areas dedicated to temporary exhibitions, each of about 800 square metres, the education department and the offices. On the second floor, a glass and steel walkway leads to a second exhibition area of about 3,800 square metres.
The Museum also has specialised Library, that is open to the public, and an Archive, containing 80,000 documents – papers, writings, drawings, photographs and press cuttings – together with 60,000 books. Finally, there is a large space in the open air dedicated to site-specific installations.
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