Negozio Olivetti is a gem of Italian design and architecture. It is amazingly located in the most touristy area of Venice, Piazza San Marco, but is still little known and visited. A paradise for lovers of minimalist 50s and 60s design, entering the store you will feel like you’ve gone back in time.
The store was reopened to the public in 2011 and restored by FAI Fondo Ambiente Italiano. I like to go and visit these spaces, originally designed as one of the most innovative stores at the time, for the exhibition and the launch of the office supplies and typewriters of the Olivetti brand. It seems that the concept of the current Apple Stores has taken inspiration from a similar Negozio Olivetti in New York!
The layout of the shop was commissioned in 1959 to a famous architect of that time, Carlo Scarpa, who used materials carefully selected for a clean, modern design, making interesting use of the interior spaces.
The store hosts a permanent exhibition of typewriters and historical calculating machines of the 50s/60s with a unique design, such as the famous portable typewriter Lettera 22 – my favourite because of its beautiful shape and because it was used in the 50s by many famous journalist and writers all over the world and now it’s even on exhibit at the MoMa in New York.