The Punta della Dogana is an extraordinary building that sits on the corner of the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal in Venice. Originally the customs house of the city in the 15th century, it now houses the collection of Francois Pinault.
In 2006 the city of Venice launched a contest for the creation of a centre for contemporary art at Punta della Dogana. Palazzo Grassi, under the direction of Jean-Jacques Aillagon, was a candidate in competition with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. Palazzo Grassi won a partnership with the building for 33 years. Acclaimed Japanese architect Tadao Ando was selected to design the space and after two years of restoration the new space opened in 2009 with the debut exhibition “Mapping the Studio: Artists from the François Pinault Collection”.
When I was living in Venice in 2010 doing an internship at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection this museum was my favourite to visit on days off. It invokes an immediate sense of calm upon entering, created by the cool polished concrete, clean lines, and low window openings to the soft green water of the canal outside.