In 1992 Luciano Gemin, an architect from Treviso, designed the Gemin Wing, an addition to the original Museum structure, to accommodate lectures and conferences. The new structure exploits the natural elevation of the land to create different levels. The Ipogea room, on the lowest level, serves as a conference room and is the only section of the expansion that “leans” on the wing designed by Carlo Scarpa (1906-1978) between 1955 and 1957.
Gemin designed a room with openings on the roof so that the sunlight could enter the space from above. Moreover, the lowest floor includes a complex glass window system that underlines the architect’s intention of connecting what is inside with the outside and also allows the visitor to observe the Scarpa Wing. In addition, Luciano Gemin paid further tribute to his fellow architect by designing the terrace floor with black and white pebbles and meticulously arranging them to replicate the triangle design previously adopted by Scarpa.
Gemin deeply admired him and when he was studying Architecture at the University of Venice, he had the chance to meet the famous Venetian architect.
Gemin wing, interior
Besides a cherished friendship and mutual respect, the two established a close working relationship. Luciano Gemin graduated in 1953 with Carlo Scarpa as his thesis supervisor and the following year his professional career began. In 1955 he worked for Edoardo Gellner (1909-2004) in Cortina d’Ampezzo and at the same time he taught Design and Art History.
In 1976 Gemin and Scarpa worked together on a project for the restoration of the Gemona Bank, but the work was concluded by Gemin alone because of the Venetian architect’s untimely death in 1978. Gemin took inspiration from this project to design the wing that takes his name at the Museo Canova in Possagno.
Today, the Gemin Wing holds all the artworks that need to be restored, such as the Ideal head, Venus Coming Out of the Bath, Reclining Naiad, Hebe, and the Dancer with a Finger on Her Chin, but also the bas-reliefs that were previously exhibited inside the Lazzari Wing.
Luciano Gemin was born in 1928 in Treviso. He studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti and at the Architecture University of Venice, where he graduated from in 1953 with Carlo Scarpa as his thesis supervisor. In 1955, the year after his graduation, he started his professional career and worked for Edoardo Gellner in Cortina d’Ampezzo and concurrently taught Design and Art History. He lived and worked in Treviso where, since the 1960’s, he had dedicated himself to redeveloping the city’s historic areas.
He designed and built the “Mulinetto” Complex, connected to the Isola della Pescheria, a small island in the city center, and a retirement home near Porta San Tommaso. In 1963 he had the chance to work with Carlo Scarpa to reshape the entrance hall of the Roma apartment building in Treviso, again in 1974 to design the new city museum inside the former Monastery of Santa Caterina in Treviso, which was followed by the project for the new headquarters of the Gemona Bank of Friuli, that was concluded in 1983, five years after the death of Carlo Scarpa.His interest for exhibition setups dates back to 1967 in Treviso, when he collaborated with Carlo Scarpa on a retrospective of Arturo Martini’s work, and in 1974 on an exhibition of paintings by Gino Rossi. In 1986 he conceived the exhibition “Le Venezie Possibili” at the Museo Correr in Venice and “Opere Veneziane in Friuli” in the San Francesco Church of Pordenone, both curated by Giuseppe Mazzariol, a close friend of his.
During the 1980s, he directed the restoration works of the Teatro Duse in Asolo, Villa Reale in Stra (Venice), the palaces of Spineda , Ancillotto and Rinaldi in Treviso. In addition, he also took care of some urban renovation projects in Castelfranco Veneto, and the urban and structural redevelopment of a medieval town in Zegliacco (Udine).
He then redeveloped an entire city block in Treviso, designing a convention center inside a 14th-century Gothic house known as “Casa dei Carraresi e dei Brittoni”. In Venice, he worked on the former Cinema Santa Margherita, and turned it into an auditorium for the Ca’ Foscari University, and on the reuse of Palazzo Zorzi Liassidi. In 1992 he completed the expansion of the Gypsotheca Antonio Canova in Possagno, next to the structure added by Carlo Scarpa in 1956. Between the last years of the 1990’s and the early 2000’s he completed the restoration works of the Eden Theater and the Santa Caterina Complex, in Treviso, as well as the Venetian residence of film director Luigi Magni, and the reuse of the former San Sebastiano Convent as the Literature Faculty of the Ca’ Foscari University.