The Sea Custom’s House (Dogana di Mare) sits at the Punta della Dogana. This is the point on the canal where the waters of the Gudeca Canal join with those of the Grand Canal. The Dogana di Mare is the work of architect Giuseppe Benoni. Work began in 1677 and finished in 1682. This is a long low structure with a corner tower of a house. He took the brick facade of the 14th century structure and covered it with marble. It is unremarkable in many ways. It is significant for at least one reason.
The Dogana di Mare is crowned by an interesting and well executed sculpture. The white tower of the Custom’s House sports a gilded bronze globe. On either side of it are figures. Each one represents an Atlas. In turn, this sculptural group is surmounted by a weather vane. The vane is in the form of the Goddess Fortuna. She holds a scarf, piece of drapery or sail in one hand. It whirls as she spins, creating fluidity of motion. For the last 30 years, you could see her and marvel. You could not, however, enter the Custom house. Recently, this has changed. The building was purchased by François Pinot. Architect Tao Ando redesigned the interior. Today, it hosts a center for contemporary art. Now, the house is joined on this jutting piece of land by Boy with a Frog by Charles Ray. People now seek out a hotel close to the Dogana di Mare in Venice.