Dates: June 18 – July 2 2017

The project of the Experimental Architecture Class is, to construct a prototype of an ephemeral residential, working and retail building for some of the agricultural islands of the Venetian lagoon. This building should be very simple as a first step of development, which can be removed, if the agricultural entrepreneur cannot continue or can be further developed for a permanent building if the farm develops properly.

This project is based on the idea of re-cultivating potential or formerly used agricultural areas in the lagoon. The prototype will be built in the courtyard of the Palazzo Zenobio with lightweight building material, such as wood, ropes, canvas, etc.

In the seminar we will take the subject of sun, light and shade as an example within this ecological thinking.

The proposed bioclimatic architecture has to do with new concepts of self-sufficient micro-cities, sustainable towns and civic agriculture. We not only need new ways of thinking and new design concepts but also new architectural solutions, for making architecture a place to be eaten, smelt, listened and also to be seen.We can destroy the natural venetian cognitive landscape for making it a provincial “Las Vegas” or save it, with the only radical defense which comes from its progressive transformation into an Agricultural Venice, as it has been for a lasting past, before its age marked by “The Merchant of Venice” .

We cannot design, in only a week, the venetian civic agricolture, but imagining such a future we might design THE COUNTER OF THE FRUIT AND FISH, that was (and should become) the archetype of the local economy for exchanging this locally produced food in the local market. There was a combination of boat and counter, equipped with the same sail for offering shadow and shelter to the producers selling their products directly, made free from any commercial mediation. The feedback loop between the use and construction of venetian life had the possibility of understanding and learning the local needs in a continual correcting process. An active action-research process within which also the design activity should take place.

The 2017 workshop will be directed by Sergio Los, Fiorenzo Bertan and Pietro Los, helped by some expert tutors and craftsmen supplying materials and tools to work.

With the construction of the prototype, we intend to think about the threshold between land and water. The relationship between the sea uncertainty and the ground stability will be explored, as the metaphor of the integration between construction and project.

It is through the dialectic between these two fundamental elements that Venice finds its special character and realizes, by the frailty of this relation, the essence of its dwelling.

The course consists of four complementary moments:

1 - An introductory moment presents the theme and its methodological principles.

2 - An investigation is devoted to exploring Venice and its lagoon, by meeting and talking with the dwellers, gathering from the context, the materials that will be returned through the building.

3 - The design program, which embodies the requirements of function and context, drives the moment of construction and project, within which some of the constructive aspects are tackled and detailed, also visiting a tensile structures company.

4 - The fourth moment is an elementary construction process, based on the use of simple components locally available such as wood, cloth, cardboard and string.The proposed bioclimatic architecture has to do with new concepts of self-sufficient micro-cities, sustainable towns and civic agriculture. We not only need new ways of thinking and new design concepts but also new architectural solutions, for making architecture a place to be eaten, smelt, listened and also to be seen.

 

Teaching Professor: Fiorenzo Bertan, Sergio Los, Venice

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