ART AND REAL ESTATE. A marriage that works by Andrea Concas


    by Andrea Concas

    Between the Renaissance in 1400 and the  Baroque of  1600, the palaces, both inside the  rooms  and outside in the facades were decorated  with frescoes, tempera, coffered ceilings, sculptures and other artistic decorations.

    The artists of these extraordinary works were  famous people such as Andrea del Castagno, Paolo Uccello, Raffaello and many others, while the beneficiaries were the great and powerful families such as Lorenzo de’ Medici.

    The reasons for these interventions ranged among those to magnify the great families, to revive the cities characterized by the long and rigorous Middle Ages, not neglecting to significantly increase the representative value as the economic value of the property itself.

    In recent years, trusting in an innovative spirit close to that of the Renaissance, we see a renewed interest in this precious link between art and real estate!

    This link is constantly growing, moving a demand from buyers of real estate, aware that an art intervention can give a significant added value.

    It should be immediately pointed out that this relationship can not run on the tracks of improvisation or extemporaneity, on the contrary, it requires special care and attention, including economic, as well as a level of creativity, design and identity very punctual and strong.    

    Let’s discover together some interesting cases that have seen a  positive dialogue between art, urban planning, architecture and real estate development.

    The first one dates back to 2012, when the Miami River fair was born in Miami, created to start the  redevelopmentof the city’s real estate area in Downtown. The neighborhood in question is Brickell,  which overlooks  the  banks of the Miami River,  an area not exactly close to the  much busier Miami Beach or the Wynwood District.

    The basic choice forthis redevelopment  action, from the very beginning, was to unite the urbanized area of Downtown with art, especially during the daysof the Art Basel Miami event among the most important art fairs in the world.

    In a short time, this “mixture” has  become increasingly important, so much so that it has created real case studies, in particular,on Street Art.

    Moreover, if in 2012 the newspaper Il Sole24Ore wrote that the power of Street Art in the revaluation of real estate was underestimated, today the opposite is increasingly the case, as evidenced an article by Silvia Mazzucotelli of the “Center for the Study of Fashion and Cultural Production  of the Catholic University of Milan. The research has in fact estimated an increase in real estate prices of up to 20%, on which a redevelopment of neighborhoods with works of urban art has intervened.

    And again,according to Collier International Italy some properties, in Bristol and London “signed” by the mysterious and famous street artist Banksy, have increased their value by tens of thousands of pounds.

    Also for an artistic intervention of the same street artist from Bristol, Italy, in May 2019 ,on the occasion ofone of his artistic incursions” at the VeniceBiennale, Banksy realized, on the facade of an uninhabited building for sale in Dorsoduro, thework of the “little migrant” where a child seeks help by signaling his need for help with a lit smoke rocket.


    Banksy Venice, courtesy photo Lapo Simeoni

    The real estate agency  Engels & Völkers , which was  responsible for the  sale of the property, said it was  thrilled to have been impressed by the Banksy Effect , thanks to which the building, previously valued at just under 1 million euros, reached the incredible figure of 4 million euros, and then even went on to a figure ” on demand”.

    Still in the fieldof Street Art, some extraordinary events have happened to the worksof the artist Keith Haring, which have made history. In 1978 he created a work in a former goods depot in the Tribeca  district  of  New York,  which was later transformed  into luxurious lofts worth 10 million dollars each.  One of the owners, duringthe renovation work, brought to light  a mural bythe artist , bringing  the value of his loft to $12 million.

    Keith Haring’s mural in a private loft in Tribeca, Image credit: Tim Waltman

    Also  on the occasion of one of his  exhibitions in Amsterdam,  Haring painted a giant mural that was almost immediately covered with aluminum panels, but after thirty years removed the panels the magnificent discovery of priceless value. And finally,  it seems that  another of  his  works has been “forgotten  on the wall of a house rented to students by the Moratti family in Milan!      

    Despite the results, not all artists agree on the use of Street Art works in real estate revaluation.

    Famous is the case of the street artist Blu, who at the end of 2014 applied the process of “artistic euthanasia” by erasing from the walls of a building in Berlin, in the district of Kreuzberg, the work Brothers and Chain, in controversy with the urban redevelopment project that affected the area.

    Art in buildings is not only Street Art, and also in other forms, it is becoming an integral partof residential housing also at the behest of the condominiums themselves , as happened in the city of Campobasso, protagonist of a private project of urban regeneration that combines real estate with art.

    The initiative, with  the involvement of a local artist,  has provided on the facade of the building, 18X15 meters large, an artistic reproduction divided into 164 glass slabs.

    A true art facade.

    Always in Italy, the artist Flavio Favelli proposes, in Valsamoggia (Bologna), site specific interventions  realized with two wall paintings, reproductions of two historical stamps of the “Imperiale” series. The winning intervention of the second edition of Italian Council 2017, conceived by the Directorate General for Contemporary Art and Architecture and Urban Suburbs (DGAAP) – Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, has redeveloped the two buildings of the “Casa del Popolo” and miniCop.

    Another case is the one involving the artist  Ai WeiWei in 2006,  who designed a  private “art” residence in the Hudson Valley, a few hours from New York, in collaboration with the Swiss company HHF Architects.

    This is a work of art to live in, ” said real estate agent  Graham Klemm, so much so that in 2013 the unique design earned the  guesthouse  an  American Architecture Award. The property is now on the market for over $5 million.

    Returning to Italy, Law 717/49 provides that a percentage of works for public buildings is destined to works of art, the same, although applied with difficulty, remains a very important rule of principle.

    In short, the combination of art and real estate remainsaprairie yet to be explored, an important reserve that, if used in a calibrated way, avoiding that art and architectural  solutions enter, unnecessarily, in competition with each other, can give great satisfaction to the real estate sector.

    And you, what work of art are you looking at from your window?

    Photo Credits: Remko De Waal


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