M9 is the name of the new museum of the cultural inheritance of the 20th century that was inaugurated on the 1st of December in Mestre, near Venice.
Part urban renewal, part educational institution, the complex has been designed by the German studio Sauerbruch Hutton Architects and addresses the current disparity of cultural wealth which divides Mestre from Venice.
The M9 project consists of two new buildings – the museum and its smaller administration building – plus a former convent and an office block: together they frame a new public square and create a pedestrian link from Piazza Erminia Ferretto to the important thoroughfare of Via Cappucina.
Strengthening Mestre’s pedestrian network, M9 functions as a regenerative catalyst with a strongly urban vernacular grounding and, in the same spirit, the buildings are carefully tuned to their surroundings in scale, proportion and polychromy.
The new museum offers galleries, an auditorium and spaces for events and education and a sculptural staircase enables fluent, legible circulation through the galleries, leading up to the temporary exhibitions on the top floor: this space is a sort of “white box”, naturally lit through the windows, with a public terrace offering views over Mestre.
Across the new square the former Convento delle Grazie will be conscientiously renovated: now restaurants and shops are gathered around a protected courtyard with a graceful roof structure.
In addition, an extensive basement will supply parking and storage space, while the existing office block on the corner is remodelled with a new façade and an ecological environmental concept.
In conclusion, the development as a whole will bring vibrancy to the centre of Mestre, with a new cultural focus, careful enrichment of the urban fabric and the contextual, ecological renovation of existing buildings.