Title: Venice – Unhooked - Code: Z65TG3
Contest: Venice / 2011
By: 5th Studio Ltd

Views: 2863 Likes: 1




Venice – Unhooked

Venice unhooked Since the construction of the road causeway in the 20th century, the centro storico has been in a state of suspended animation – hooked up to a road-based life support system that has robbed it of its autonomy. Although the cessation of water extraction and proposal to recharge the aquifers should arrest the sinking of the city and the completion of the MOSE project should address its vulnerability to flooding from the sea, the removal of these threats reveals the deeper problems of a dysfunctional city with an in-balance of tourists, an ageing resident population and exclusive/prohibitive land and housing prices. We propose the removal of the causeway, and a radical adjustment of the patterns of movement around and across the lagoon.

The formation of a new high-speed rail interchange at marco polo and a cruise terminal on the lido, together with new shipping routes and reinforcement of the maritime tradition would establish a healthier, more complex and more sustainable relationship between the islands and terrafirma. The, now safe, ground floors of the buildings of the centro storico are re-used as originally designed, to provide the dispersed storage facilities for the city.

Redevelopment of the Tronchetto, the Railway Station and Piazzale Roma could then catalyse one, more or all of a number of scenarios. We illustrate three visions of how key redevelopment and the renegotiation of movement across the lagoon might influence the city.

There is nothing to suggest that all of these visions might not coexist.



The Autonomous City

The removal of the umbilicus of the causeway necessitates creation of a new waste-fuelled power plant on the Tronchetto – linked to a solar desalination unit and hydroponic food production.

A new district energy and water distribution network beneath the canals, distributes electricity, fresh water as well as hot water produced communally by the solar thermal panels that are fitted to every building.

Permitted redevelopment of delapidated property with contemporary architecture of the highest quality reinvigorates the tradition of architectural patronage founded on the unique history of the centro storico.

Formation of new islands (the sestiere becoming the sedicitiere) provide the housing, schools, hospitals and workplaces for the new populations of the revitalised city.

The City of Masters

Creation of an international institute of craft and construction on the Tronchetto – together with a vast yard of building materials (imported, processed and manufactured) – catalyses the rediscovery of the crafts involved in the construction of Venice.

Building on the tradition of the Biennale and Venice as the locus of international exhibition, the city becomes a worldwide centre of excellence in the teaching and exhibition of construction crafts and the ongoing restoration of the decaying city becomes a living tradition.

The replanting of the trees on the slopes of Croatia and western Slovenia providing sustainable supplies of timber piles for new and restored buildings, re-establishes the connections that Venice once had with its international hinterland.

The constant spectacle of restoration and renewal further broadens the city’s tourist offer supplementing passive architectural tourism with constructive interaction – the only affordable way to stay in the centro storico being to sign up for voluntary labouring, surveying and construction assistance. The city becomes a living musuem.



The Exclusive City

The city continues in its progress towards plutocracy turning its back on the wider lagoon and the Veneto, and the centro storico becomes an exclusive preserve, part of the global community of the super-rich.

The Tronchetto, cleared of car park and cruise terminal becomes a vibrant working quarter with accommodation for service staff. This dense ‘servant district’ attracts backpackers and travellers in search of a taste of the old Venice and is renowned for its night life.

As an exclusive resort city, events like the altaqua become unacceptable, the city becomes finely tuned to the variations in its hydrological system – the pollution of the waters, the acceleration and then decline of the glacial melt that feeds the lagoon and sea-level rise. Water level detection, alarm and control systems become highly sensitive and the Institute of Climatic Hydrology established in the city becomes an international centre of excellence.


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Title: Venice – Unhooked

Time: 6 giugno 2011
Category: Venice
Views: 2863 Likes: 1

Tags: 5th Studio Ltd