M9: A New Cultural Hub in Mestre

Digital and multimedia technologies are the tools that the new Museo del Novecento in Mestre is leveraging to give its own cultural identity to a city that has always lived in the shadow of Venice

  • M9: A New Cultural Hub in Mestre
  • M9: A New Cultural Hub in Mestre
  • M9: A New Cultural Hub in Mestre
  • M9: A New Cultural Hub in Mestre
  • M9: A New Cultural Hub in Mestre

The museum of the future found a home in Mestre, the other face of Venice. The name is M9 and it has great ambitions, even if it is brand new. First of all, M9 aims to take visitors on a journey through the 20th century, leveraging digital technologies to allow visitors to experience historical moments, forgotten landscapes, objects that have triggered revolutions and yet we have never seen or used. Secondly, it aspires to trigger the evolution of Mestre, a city which has grown over the decades as Venice’s industrial and productive branch and urgently needs to gain its own cultural identity. Last but not least, M9 is on its way to set a new standard by mixing sustainability and architecture, functionality and experimentation thanks to the solutions implemented by Berlin-based studio Sauerbach Hutton, which earned M9 the Leed Gold certification of the Green Building Council, the largest international sustainable construction organization.
M9 is the heart of a new city ‘square’. Its three floors, hiding behind a multicolored façade,  are the hallmark of an urban space that includes seven structures with different ages, styles and uses: a former 16th-century convent, office buildings from the 1970s and three new structures. The common thread lies in a ‘smart’ concept: from the Museum to the Auditorium (over 280 square meters housing music and films), from the square benches to the shops, everything is connected, interactive, multimedia. 
Fondazione Venezia, which conceived, financed and promoted the creation of M9, defines it as an ‘urban regeneration format’, a space-modulation concept that stimulates the exchange and sharing of ideas. At M9, the present is rooted in the past and becomes the main point of reference for building the future. The first two floors house the permanent exhibition on the 20th century, with thousands of objects, faces, events and images collected from 150 archives, selected and curated by a team of 47 experts, and rendered in a multimedia and interactive exhibition. Over 60 installations allow you to move within 3D reconstructions of environments or historical events, participating in an event or working in a factory from the beginning of last century. Digital displays and touch screens guide the exploration following each visitor’s specific interests, and at the same time interactive activities such as assembling and disassembling objects and electronic devices from the last decades are available for everyone to get an idea of how they work and how they are built.
The museum includes 8 sections exploring the impetuous and contradictory evolution of 20th century Italy, which witnessed two World Wars and the economic boom, the doubling of the population, mass schooling, the transition from an agricultural economy to the advanced tertiary sector. Every aspect is covered, from the demographic and landscape evolution to consumption, customs, science, economy, public life and the progressive growth of a national identity. 
The last section challenges visitors to understand what we are talking about today when we talk about being Italian, with a remarkable collection of views and opinions collected from around the world.
The third floor houses the museum’s permanent exhibitions. Opening on December 22nd, L'Italia dei Fotografi. 24 Storie d’autorewill feature works by some of the most renowned Italian photographers including Letizia Battaglia, Ferdinando Scianna, Giovanni Chiaromonte, Gabriele Basilico, Maurizio Galimberti and Francesco Jodice.

Author : The Slowear Journal


Mestre  | M9  | Museo del Novecento  | cultural hub  |

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