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Reshaping the confines between the land and the sea

IUAV, Venice, Summer 2019

This project was born with a simple gesture: enclosing the lagoon water and turn the natural motion of tides into a form, a language, a poetry. While expending Venice’s much needed green coverage, the new boarderscape not only provides public spaces but a new way to experience the city.

The building floating on a forest of pilotis, creates a shaded walkway to explore the new shore, suspended between the land and the sea*. The roof in continuity with the ground level through an ample staircase, opens up the views to the surrounding islands, and the newly created inner lagoon reservoir and pool.

The building, instead of acting as a barrage against the sea, is what facilitates residents and visitors alike to explore the area in a novel way. It is comprised of exhibition spaces, offices spaces, studios and workshops for and a conference room, in a attempt to retain young professionals and artists whose only choice today is exile, due to the lack of opportunity in Venice, a city on the verge of turning into a theme park. The project takes place in Umberto I’s old hospital site, converted today in housings units and sports facilities, whose interaction with the sea is non-existent.

Our project proposes to turn the entire neighbourhood into a park, by adding more green space and creating two water reservoirs enclosed by a promenade and a raised building. The smaller reservoir serves as a pool for water sports and recreation while the larger one, made of concentric inclined planes, changes shape with the level of the tides (gradient of grey as represented below), becoming a didactic instrument to understand Venice’s best friend and foe: the lagoon water