29 Oct 2020 • Milano,
The 16th century Palazzo Martinengo is today hosting Ganea: a place devoted to beer, tasty food and pizza. Ganea is the ancient name for Villagana, which in Latin meant tavern, inn, point of rest for travelers and merchants. It has been placed in the side wing of the property, which in the past was dedicated to stables.
The estate is subjected to specific restrictions by the local artistic and cultural heritage superintendence, hence the layout of the venue is the original one. Since the internal walls are also under the same restrictions, wiring and lighting systems are attached directly on the walls, fixed with brownish iron bars made by local artisans and inspired by master Sigurd Lewerentz.
The materials selected for the project are mainly iron, cotto tiles and conifer wood as an historical reminiscence of the memory of the estate and its surrounding region. The iron frame concept recurs in every room of the project: from the big framed chandelier in reinforced glass, to the restaurant booth located in the last room conveniently hiding restrooms entrances, as well as the inner door in the main entrance.
In the first room a bottle rack made of iron and reinforced glass creates a scenographic backdrop to the natural iron monolithic counter, as well as conveying a sense of perspective and direction to the room. In the main room the big glass windows with iron frameworks overlooking the garden are authentic, faithfully and genuinely restored to their original design, while the openings of the other rooms are made in larch wood.
In the two small cozier rooms there are two long benches and tables made in brushed fir and big festive tables which are instead imported from Asia, with the purpose of highlighting the historical link between Villagana and the Asian continent. In fact, during ancient times Villagana had the privilege of owning a pier on the Oglio river bank, which used to connect the Venetian Republic to the Duchy of Milan.
Lots of goods, mainly silk, used to be shipped by such Pier as documented by the numerous original evidences written in Asian languages, originally kept in the library and nowadays exhibited in the heart of the venue.
The unique handmade baked tile flooring illustrates the consecutive time eras of the venue thanks to its several chromatic shades
The sandblasted ceiling beams and the rustic lime-based plaster of the walls give to the space a peciliar earthy component. Some ancient maps of Martinengo Counts domain are hanging on the walls next to the illustrations of Czech artist Vlastimil Košvanec. A museum situated on the main floor exhibits more of his art.
The Ganea is a venue in which the project gives life to the history of the place.