Title: Flood, Sound, Drift, Snag - Code: W6G1X9
Contest: Venice / 2011
By: D. Tullie / B. Watson / P. Yu

Views: 5335 Likes: 0




Flood, Sound, Drift, Snag


Flood, Sound, Drift, Snag Sea levels are predicted to rise exponentially by as much as 1.4m by 2100. Low lying Venice is under threat of serious widespread flooding far beyond the seasonal tidal flooding that it has become adapted to: a rise of only 50cm would see large areas of the city permanently flooded, particularly the low lying sestiere of Castello and already frequently inundated San Marco.

Rather than building barriers against the water, the imminent flooding of the city provides an opportunity to intervene in a radical way. Parts of the existing city may be allowed to flood as we look instead towards the wider lagoon as a source of inspiration. The fascinating lagoon environment that is such a key aspect of Venice becomes the site for new inhabitation through a ‘drifting’ of the city. New threads and clusters service the city and facilitate the adaptation of Venice to higher sea levels, whilst allowing the city to reach out to the mainland and wider lagoon and beyond to the Adriatic.

Soundings of the existing city map the proximities and concentrations of uses, narratives and events that form Venice. Key facets are identified according to programmatic categories such as spaces of exchange (supermarkets, street vendors), gathering places (campii, public buildings), and spaces of storage (stock rooms, archives, museums). These soundings are conceived as a flexible thread, which is allowed to drift out into the lagoon according to a dense data mapping. The mapped structure of the existing city is transformed and adapted to the lagoon according to far reaching criteria from bathymetry and water currents to marine life and vaporetto routes. In this way the drifting thread forms a framework for the settlement of the lagoon, grounded in the city but adapted to the lagoon.

Three case study proposals begin to show how this concept will materialize:

The first is derived directly from the natural habitat of the lagoon. Located amongst the highest concentration of algae in the vicinity of Venice, an algae farm and biofuel ‘truckstop’ inhabits a busy intersection on the main channel to the airport.

The second relates to the human use of the lagoon. A ballast water treatment plant located on the main shipping channel to the busy port of Marghera helps to protect the fragile lagoon environment from contamination by alien hitchhikers. Filtering, analyzing and purifying, the ballast water thread reaches out from the mainland into the lagoon towards the city where the water can be used in other parts of the new lagoon clusters.

The final proposal is related directly to the re-inhabitation of the flooded city. Located and dispersed according to the sounding thread, a series of new facilities deal with various aspects of material salvage and house related but juxtaposing programs. One such example, attached to a timber salvage facility, is a research laboratory studying the potential of ‘gribbles’, wood-digesting marine invertebrates resident in the lagoon bed, to provide a breakthrough in the production of bio fuel. Materials surgically salvaged from flooded areas of the city are retained for re-use or processed to become fuels, aggregates and other products.

Venice must embrace the sea rather than fight against it. Our proposal sets out how this can be achieved in a radical and poetic way that is nonetheless grounded in the empirical and narrative reality of Venice. In doing so energy and resources that would be wasted in futile efforts to hold back the sea can be redirected into new positive intervention. Innovative and relevant programs along with delicate construction that avoids intrusive land reclamation and is fundamentally shaped by the existing environment ensure that these new interventions form part of a sustainable and exciting vision for the future of Venice.


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Title: Flood, Sound, Drift, Snag

Time: 6 giugno 2011
Category: Venice
Views: 5335 Likes: 0

Tags: Adriatic , Adriatic Sea , Flood , Lagoon , Marghera , San Marco , Sea level , Tullie , Venice , Watson , Yu