The Fondazione Benetton Ricerche Studi (Benetton Research Studies Foundation) is based in the historical centre of Treviso and first launched its cultural activities in 1987. The Foundation’s prestigious headquarters in Via Cornarotta, which underwent extensive renovation completed in 2003, are located opposite the studio-tower of the sculptor Arturo Martini (1889-1947), a stone’s throw from the town hall and the cathedral. The ‘Caotorta’ and ‘Bomben’ buildings which form the headquarters are united by a garden overlooking the ‘Roggia’, a waterway that expresses the history and charm of the town.
Chaired by Luciano Benetton and directed by Marco Tamaro – taking over in 2009 from Domenico Luciani, the landscape architect who was its inspiration from the beginning – the Foundation boasts a consolidated work group that performs most of its activities with the systematic support of scientific bodies, comprising internationally renowned researchers and experts.
The main area of research regards the management and design of the landscape, of the places that surround us and of others spaces around the world, but particularly in Europe and in the Mediterranean, in the spirit of the European Landscape Convention, paying special attention to environmental aspects of common interest. Over the course of the year, conferences, seminars, study trips, and experimental workshops are organised on the life and shape of these places, and several publications are released, intended to boost their recognition, value and protection.
The initiative that best defines the research activities in this area is the International Carlo Scarpa Prize for Gardens. Since its first edition in 1990, the Prize has drawn attention to a place that is “particularly rich in nature and memory” on which a study and publication campaign is based, that reaches its culmination on the second Saturday of May each year, with the presentation of the Carlo Scarpa prize, in a public ceremony in the Mario Del Monaco Theatre in Treviso.
Since 2007, the International Prize has been accompanied by the ‘Luoghi di valore’ (places of value) project, which focuses on collecting open and subjective suggestions regarding places in the area of Treviso, and concludes by locally promoting the participation of individuals, communities and schools in research and in the universal bond between place and the human condition.
In addition to these studies on the landscape, Gaetano Cozzi (1922-2001) envisaged from the beginning an investigation into the history and civilisation of games, which appears in ‘Ludica’, an internationally recognised reference magazine. Every year, study bursaries with the name of this distinguished professor are awarded to the best undergraduate and PhD dissertations on the topic of “games through time up until contemporary sport”.
The Bomben area organizes many cultural initiatives aimed at the public: some of these are intended to document the results of research conducted by the Foundation, while others consist of conferences, and scientific, literary, musical, cinematographic or theatrical gatherings and art exhibitions.