After a 500-year restoration by British architects, Venice’s iconic landmark is now open for business. It will be revealed its Renaissance architecture and magnificent gilt ceilings.

It is the cornerstone of St Mark’s Square and one of the most recognisable facades in Italy.

Despite being photographed every year by millions upon millions of tourists, the interiors of the Floating Capital have been kept secret for hundreds years.

Sir David Chipperfield will lead a renovation that will see the building, which measures 150 yards long, open to tourists starting in April.

It will now be transformed from a partially abandoned location into an exhibition space with high-tech technology and new staircases. The Renaissance-era wooden beams of the building will also be restored.

One of Venice's most iconic landmarks is opening its doors for the first time in 500 years after a restoration project by a British architect

After a 500-year restoration, one of Venice’s iconic landmarks was opened for the first times in 500 years.

One of Italy’s most well-known facades is the Procuratie Vecchie, which forms the perimeter colonnaded of St Mark’s Square.

The partly abandoned site will be transformed into a high-tech exhibition centre (pictured) with big screens and large spaces for the public

This abandoned location will become a new high-tech exhibit centre with large screens and ample spaces for the public.

Sir David Chipperfield is leading a renovation project which will see the 150-yard-long building welcoming tourists from April

Sir David Chipperfield will lead a renovation that will see the building, which measures 150 yards long, open to tourists starting in April

On the first floor, chandeliers and frescoes from the 19th century are being restored where former management offices were located

There are chandeliers, frescos and other 19th-century artifacts being restored on the first floor. These were once part of the old management offices.

There will be offices to accommodate refugees and space for humanitarian charity, cafeterias, and auditorium. 

Generali italien insurance, an Italian company that has its headquarters in Rome since 1832, initiated the project.

While the restoration covers 11,000 sqm over 4 floors, the façade remained untouched.

Chipperfield, who also led the rebuilding of the Neues Museum in Berlin, told The Times: ‘This was a private world and it is a pleasure to turn it into a public place.’ 

The buildings was occupied previously by nine Venice procurators. They were chosen from among the richest families in Venice.

The project is the initiative of the Italian insurer Generali, which made its Italian headquarters in the palace from 1832 (pictured during construction in 2017)

Generali in Italy, the Italian insurance company, initiated the project. It has had its Italian headquarters since 1832.

The mammoth restoration project involves 11,000 square meters over four floors but the facade remains untouched

The mammoth restoration project involves 11,000 square meters over four floors but the facade remains untouched

Although the mammoth restoration work covers 11,000 sqm over 4 floors, the façade remains unaltered

It will also prove offices for start-ups run by refugees, spaces for humanitarian charities, a cafe and an auditorium

There will be offices to accommodate refugees and space for humanitarian charity, cafeterias, and auditoriums.

They worked and lived in the Procuratie, took care the basilica and managed wills.

Their office represented Venetian society’s elite and was the second highest after the doge.

Alberto Torsello was the site manager for the building. He said that they were part of the rigid control that Venetians exercised over them, and that the fact that they lived above the largest square in Venice would have been a sign that this control is still present. 

Before the addition of the second facade, the first building was built in 1532.

Later, the second building was home to Caffe Florian, a famous cafe that served Enlightenment intellectualsia as well as famous writers and artists like Marcel Proust and Charles Dickens.

Despite being photographed by millions of tourists who descend on the Floating City every year, its interiors have been closed off to the public for centuries

Despite the fact that the Floating city is visited by many millions of tourists every year, its interiors remain closed to the public since centuries.

The building was previously occupied by Venice's nine procurators, drawn from the city's richest families

Venice’s nine procurators (from the richest families in Venice) occupied this structure previously.

The first building was completed in 1532 before a second twin facade on the other side of the square was added in the same century

After the completion of the original building in 1532, a twin façade on the opposite corner was constructed in the following century.

It has 52 arches at ground level, and 300 windows higher up. This facade was once a meeting spot for Venetians.

The Procuratie became an official residence of Napoleon’s French occupation. A church was built and then the entire building was demolished.

Generali occupied the building in the 1990s, but it has remained largely deserted since.

However, the insurance company returned to St Mark’s Square and is planning to create a roof terrace for 200 people, an auditorium with 200 seats, and large screens that will display exhibitions.

During the period of French occupation under Napoleon, the Procuratie was turned into an official royal residence and a church and a section of the building were demolished

The Procuratie, which was under French occupation during Napoleon’s time of French rule, became an official royal residence. A church and part of the building were also demolished

The insurance company has now returned and wants to revamp St Mark's Square, creating a roof terrace, 200-seat auditorium and big screens for exhibitions

Now, the insurance company is back and plans to redesign St Mark’s Square. They want to create a roof terrace and 200-seat auditorium, as well as big screens for large exhibitions.

The main facade has 52 arches on the ground level and 300 windows above and was a common meeting place for Venetians

There are 52 arches above ground and 300 windows up. The facade is a popular meeting point for Venetians.

Chipperfield says the three interconnected buildings that form it are admired by architects for 'the sort of ruthlessness of a building that is that long, that makes a square'

Chipperfield said that the architects love Chipperfield’s three connected buildings, which he calls ‘the kind of ruthlessness that a building is that long that makes it a square.

Marble skirting on the ground floor will protect the rooms from flood waters in the lowest area of Venice which goes underwater when tides rise by 90cm

The rooms will be protected by marble skirting at the ground floor from the flood waters of Venice’s lowest region, which is underwater when the tides rise to 90cm.

The first floor houses chandeliers and frescos dating back to the 19th Century. They are currently being restored at the site of the former company management offices.

Chipperfield states that tourists can take the Procuratie as a whole for granted. However, Chipperfield claims that architects love the architecture of the three connected buildings.  

The marble skirting will be installed on the ground floor to protect rooms from flooding waters.