The building, now housing a detached section of the Venice Naval Historical Museum collection of historic ships, consists of three serially arranged units, and of a fourth one, of similar size, orthogonal to the first ones.
The building was built in the mid-sixteenth Century as an oars workshop and storage facility. Shortly after its completion in 1577, it was temporarily adapted to house the Great Council, the main government body of the city, following the disastrous fire that had destroyed much of the Palazzo Ducale, making it useless for a long time.
Following the reorganization of the Arsenal started after 1866, when Venice was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy, the premises were used as storehouses and workshops by the Military Engineers.
In this period the roofing was restored, with the introduction of an interesting bidirectional system of iron ties which integrated the wooden roof trusses.
Since 1980, the area of the oars workshops has been known by the name of “Ships Pavilion”. It houses vessels of great historical importance as an annex of the museum.