Since 2002, the Mart of Rovereto has been located in the building designed by Ticino architect Mario Botta, in collaboration with Rovereto engineer Giulio Andreolli. The focal point of the building is the massive glass and steel dome above the central courtyard where the museum is located. The roof is constantly interacting with light, and it has a maximum height of 25 metres and a diameter of 40 metres, exactly like the Pantheon in Rome.
Mario Botta chose yellow Vicenza stone as the cladding material for the façade. This is a formal reference to the historic buildings on Corso Bettini, which echo the Museum: Palazzo del Grano, Palazzo Alberti, Teatro Zandonai and Palazzo dell'Annona.
Around the Mart courtyard are other institutions: the Rovereto’s Biblioteca Civica and the Auditorium Fausto Melotti.
The itinerary proposed to visitors is divided into four levels. At the entrance are the ticket office and the information area, the Mart Shop, the Bistrot, the conference room and the cloakroom; on the lower ground floor is the Archivio del ’900, with its prestigious archives and extensive library; on the first floor are learning spaces and offices. The exhibition rooms are spread across two floors, linked by a gallery overlooking the courtyard and a glass and steel walkway. Some rooms overlook the sculpture garden.
Mario Botta working on the project for the Watari-um art gallery in Tokyo
"A building always redesigns new relationships; it cannot be indifferent. In its central space, Mart embraces and enhances the language of its surroundings. The diversity of languages, modern and ancient, becomes wealth".
The total surface area (in square metres) occupied by Mart
Square metres of exhibition space
Year the foundation stone was laid
Year the Mart was inaugurated
Mario Botta and Giulio Andreolli
Mart's construction site
Laying the foundation stone
5 things to know
1/5 La piazza
The Mart square has a diameter of 40 metres, the same size as the Pantheon in Rome
The fountain in the centre is reminiscent of a Roman impluvium, which was used to collect rainwater
3/5 Il Mart e Rovereto
The cultural hub is located in the area between Corso Bettini and the hills behind the city
4/5 I materiali
The mounting system for the roofing slabs was designed ad-hoc for Mart and it allows each stone to be removed independently, without affecting the others
The Mart's exhibition rooms are illuminated by 183 skylights that diffuse natural light. The rooms are fitted with a high-tech system that provides optimum microclimatic conditions
Interview with Mario Botta 2021
Mart's Sculpture Garden
Il giardino delle sculture del Mart
Mart's Sculpture Garden | Inaugurated in 2006, the Garden is a green space built onto the roof of the underground garage, and was conceived by Botta as a 'hortus conclusus' (enclosed garden): the starting point for exploring the outer perimeter of the building. It develops along ramps and terraces overlooking the surrounding landscape on one side and the massive structure on the other, whose solid façade is interrupted by recessed windows emphasised by black frames.
Il giardino delle sculture del Mart
Mart's Sculpture Garden | The garden has been expanded over time with new acquisitions and currently includes works by Gino Cortelazzo, Annamaria Gelmi, Alberto Ghinzani, Eliseo Mattiacci, Fausto Melotti and Giuseppe Uncini. A large sculpture by Miguel Berrocal and an installation by Chiara Dynys are located on the terraces
Gino Cortelazzo, "Scenografia", 1979
Gino Cortelazzo, [Scenography], 1979 | This sculpture in iron and corten steel rises sinuously, alternating sharp angles and curvilinear forms. The two central shapes create a single body with two legs, which rests on the two slabs on the left, reminiscent of theatre wings. The artist’s aim has always been to "turn an idea into a monument"; his tireless aesthetic and ethical research has led him to experiment with the possibilities of different materials and their relationship with light.
Annamaria Gelmi, “Oltre il tempo”, 2011
Annamaria Gelmi, [Beyond time], 2011 | Made of steel and bronze, this sculpture is intended to interact with its surroundings and create a different perception of space. The work is characterised by strong geometric rigour and evokes a space just waiting to be inhabited
Alberto Ghinzani, "Pietraserrata", 2007
Alberto Ghinzani, “Pietraserrata”, 2007 | "Pietraserrata" is composed of synthetic shapes in Botticino marble and iron. The architectural cross-section is suggestive of a habitable nook and is a study on the contrast between interior and exterior
Eliseo Mattiacci, "Sonda spaziale", 1993-1995
Eliseo Mattiacci, [Space probe], 1993-1995 | "Sonda spaziale" is the first work placed in the Mart's sculpture garden and consists of two steel and iron structures creating a 17-metre high column. At the top, a sphere reminiscent of a globe frames the mountainous landscape beyond
Fausto Melotti, "Scultura H (La grande clavicola)" (dettaglio), 1971
Fausto Melotti, [The great collarbone], 1971 | In this work, four metal bands support a thin curved line that resembles the outline of a clavicle. It is a mark in space that sways in the wind, a dynamic element often featured in Melotti's sculptures
Giuseppe Uncini, "Epistylium" (dettaglio), 2007-2009
Giuseppe Uncini, “Epistylium”, 2007-2009 | "Epistylium" (from the Greek epi = above and stylos = column) belongs to the cycle of works entitled "Architetture". The work is a monumental sculpture made of concrete and iron, designed by the artist especially for the sculpture garden. Its rigorous geometry conveys a sense of stateliness and is reminiscent of ancient architecture, such as Stonehenge’s remains
Miguel Berrocal, "Opus 129 Monumento a Picasso", 1972-1974
Miguel Berrocal, “Opus 129 Monumento a Picasso”, 1972-1974 | The work was commissioned in 1972 by the city of Málaga as a tribute to Picasso. A long, sinuous, sensual shape creates a face and hand inspired by the human forms painted by the famous artist
Chiara Dynys, "Memoria Oblio", 2010
Chiara Dynys, [Memory Oblivion], 2010, Mart | Previously exhibited in the Mart courtyard, Chiara Dynys' piece was created for her solo exhibition at the Archivio Centrale di Stato in Rome ( [Labyrinths of memory], 2010), where the artist was inspired by "the background of the EUR building: a metaphysical presence, imposing and very solitary, as described by de Chirico". The steel letters, similar to large typefaces for printing, were placed on the access staircase of the building designed by architects De Renzi, Figini and Pollini, forming two words facing each other. In this circular arrangement, however, they chase each other, continuously evoking the ability to remember and to forget. The theme of "Memoria Oblio" is therefore linked to the nature of the Rome archive: a labyrinthine place that holds millions of documents, evidence of a past that can either be buried or brought back to light.