Title: Venice’s prevailing element is water - Code: 7H9K1W
Contest: Venice / 2011
By: G. Benedetti / A. Di Mario / M. Filosa / S. Gatto

Views: 3711 Likes: 1




Venice’s prevailing element is water

Venice’s prevailing element is water; over the centuries the city developed thanks to the inventiveness of the Venetians, that allowed it to grow in an almost paradoxical habitat. Their tenacity produced a city that with time has become a world heritage site. By preserving more and more its historical and architectural heritage, Venice’s possibilities to upgrade in compliance with the citizens’ needs were probably compromised. The total musealization in which the city has been brought is today the main reason for the constant decrease of its population.

In order to “re-think Venice” we were moved by the purpose of giving it more spaces to be advantageous especially for people who want to live, and not only visit, the city; so our intervention faces the problem of renewing Venetians’ relationship with the Lagoon’s water.

In many cities what makes the difference in the quality of life is a park; it offers spaces for social contacts in a different rhythm than the rest of the urban fabric, and at the same time it can contrast pollution. Since there is no road traffic, what worries Venice more than its air is the quality of its canals’ water.

Our idea is to create a green lung in the heart of Venice and re-think the urban space of one of its most symbolic places: the Grand Canal.

Therefore our design makes possible that a ship canal, usually traversable by bridges, becomes a green area ready to be lived as a place for socializing, resting, event space, performing theatre. The removal of the canal’s fluvial function doesn’t compromise nor devalue the image of the city, but if possible it amplifies its perception and multiplies its possible perspectives.

Instead of a drastic proposal that would irreparably change the city, our intervention would be enacted reversibly, offering a range of possibilities to be interpreted by the user itself.

Moreover the perception of urban space in Venice is constantly dominated by the difficulty of directly reaching every place; the only way is trough complicated, as well as fascinating, labyrinthine streets called calli. Our plan introduces in the city a new spatiality made of large perspectives that today can be seen only from the boat or the steamer. The Grand Canal is upgraded, becoming a big public park, a promenade, a gathering and socializing place.

In the Seventies Superstudio proposed to pave the Grand Canal, but today representing a provocation is no more enough when thinking of how to renew a city centre. This is why our proposal instead wants to be an adaptable tool able to pragmatically improve the citizens’ quality of life.

The design is based on the use of modular floating docks that together create a huge platform. Vertically assembled they become seating places, playgrounds, pieces of street furniture. At the same time some other modules stay hollow, leaving space to water and to a large amount of green directly in the centre of the city. So, thanks to aquatic plants that operate a natural process of phytodepuration, the Grand Canal becomes an element able to purify water, continuously working as a filter for the Lagoon.

In other words, the Canal stops being seen merely as the subject of thousands of pictures every day.


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Title: Venice’s prevailing element is water

Time: 7 giugno 2011
Category: Venice
Views: 3711 Likes: 1

Tags: Boat , Canal , Grand Canal , New York City , Recreation , Venetians , Venice , World Heritage Site