Team: Stefano Lanotte
Location: Venice, Italy
The building is designed as a strong and innovative element, capable of attracting ideas and energy to generate new relationships.
A large lowered square, set back from the building line, becomes the physical and programmatic base of the building. An iconic and metaphysical space, the square opens up to the city with exhibitions or events. Its high borders make up a spectacular monumental basin, completed by two symmetrical double staircases that mark the front towards the gardens and the one towards the residential area.
The building is classic, contemporary and innovative. Four large sculptural blocks are arranged one above the other. Their dimensions vary, starting from the smallest lower volume up to the large upper body. This choice involves an emptying of the space on the ground, taking the building in an unprecedented way from the surrounding ones. In this way, public spaces can be obtained that are freely passable and airy, protected from the sun and rain by higher volumes.
The four-part division reflects the functional program. The smaller volume stands directly on the square and welcomes the visitor with a reception and a bookshop; going up you meet more technical spaces that allow the building to function: a warehouse, a dressing room and offices. In the third volume there are the exhibition spaces, that is, two floors of great flexibility and fully set up, designed to have a soft diffused light. Continuing, you enter a large refreshment area, located just above the canopy of the large trees on Viale IV Novembre, from where an unprecedented view of the city opens up. The last block of the building houses the studio dwellings: conceived as inspirational and vital places, they were placed in close visual relationship with the nearby spaces of the biennial, with the horizon and with the city. Placed higher up than the surrounding buildings and tree tops, they become collected places in which to think, to plan but also to create. In the same housing plans, common living areas have been planned in which to be able to meet residents, relax or work alone or in small groups.
The building is designed to relate to the different scales of the city, re-reading the classic design themes in an innovative way: the small volume on the street brings new spaces to the city, while the added volume upwards allows it to relate to the urban scale, making itself visible to those passing through the lagoon. A white volume, marked rhythmically by deep shadows, emerges from the green patch of the gardens, declaring its presence and novelty from afar.