Last June, during the Summer exam session of the Design course by Professor Valerio Paolo Mosco, IUAV University of Venice hosted Eterno Ivica as an outstanding company engaged in spreading architectural culture based on research and innovation of construction systems, one capable of combining aesthetic functionality and sustainability.
We believe it is important to establish synergies between academia and the business world, especially in a context such as the Veneto one, where PMIs are the backbone of the entire production system. Involving students means showing them the excellence of the territory, possible realities to collaborate with, not only after college but also during the undergraduate curriculum, through research partnerships – an opportunity to promote knowledge and development.
When Eterno Ivica’s people Federica Favero Falconi and Elisabetta Balzani told me about ARKT we agreed it could be an opportunity to start a dialogue based on the principles set out above. In this regard I thank Prof. Mosco for allowing us to open up the initiative to our study course and I also thank the students who responded enthusiastically to this invitation and agreed to make their work available.
THE AA 2018/2019 LAB
In order to describe the path we took together I will use the words written by Prof. Mosco to introduce the course to his students.
The academic year was marked by a series of lectures dedicated to archaic and primitive architecture, to the primordial forms of building, to their needs, and to the techniques of the ancient populations, and particular attention was given to the study of primitive urban conformations. This served as a premise to reflect on how modern thought has rediscovered the architecture of the origins as if it were the “original” matrix of a style whose legitimacy has a solid anthropological foundation. A process that from Laugier and Semper passes through Le Corbusier to reach today the so called “frugal” or “sustainable” architecture. In parallel to this theoretical part the class was divided into small groups with artists’ workshops on the island of Sant’Elena in Venice.
Students were deliberately allowed to understand the functional program in a rather flexible way, without giving them any instruction regarding preordained spatial standards or codes. This method allowed us to reflect on space and its conformations. The projects on display are very different from each other because they are not constrained by detailed stylistic indications but rather, they are the result of the intuition of each single student. This intuition was then supported and made coherent language-wise through revisions made by teacher Valerio Paolo Mosco and his collaborators: Silvia Codato, Irene Peron and myself.
– Giacomo Ghinello
In a part of Venice where you can still breathe the true essence of the city made up of citizens who have not surrendered to the tourist wave that is conquering the whole island, we thought of a project that was an intrinsic testimony to the vernacular nature of the place.
The traveller beheld the quiet village where he was to rest, scattered among the meadows beside its valley stream […] in the dusty perspective of the causeway, saw, for the first time, the towers of some famed city, faint in the rays of sunset – hours of peaceful and thoughtful pleasure (the stones of Venice)
(John Ruskin. Le pietre di Venezia, Rizzoli, ed. 2018).
We referred to the idea of Ruskin, the one of the towers that rise from the water and give it their reflection. These towers, silent in form, are noisy in their elements, which serve to convey the message of this city that tries to maintain its natural originality by detaching itself from this trend that is leading it more and more to resemble a battered imitation of a fake rebuilt Venice in Las Vegas.
The whole project develops along two axes, one vertical of the tower and one horizontal of the common spaces on the ground floor. The towers are five in total and consist of an entrance floor, five floors of two-person accommodation and a high pergola belvedere on the top floor.
The entrance of each tower winds along a paved path, which turns out to be the attic of the underlying floor of common spaces. They consist of a warehouse/laundry room on the ground floor of each tower and a long “sleeve” that joins all the towers creating places of leisure/study. In correspondence with the towers in front, behind them there is a sort of “hortus conclusus” delimited on three sides by ramps that lead from the raised path to the lawn.
These ramps correspond to other common places below, which can take advantage of the light brought from large skylights. The main material of the building is brick. We have taken this material referring to the images of the most famous bell towers of the city.
For the masonry we used a three-headed brick scheme with armor, while for the path they are arranged in a herringbone pattern. In support of the floors there are ipe beams with a corrugated sheet that contains the reinforced brick and the plant belt.
JIN YOUNG KWAK
The design idea of our work takes its cue mainly from the place where it was conceived, the building lowered in Sant’Elena in the green belt of the “Parco delle Rimembranze” is designed to blend in with it. The building faces the lagoon with the longest side. It is inserted in the southern part (playgrounds) of the Francesco Morosini military naval school.
Five pedestrian paths suggested by the building’s modular system connect it to the island’s infra-structural network.
In the residential part, which opens towards the interior of the island, on the ground floor there is a single glazed volume used as a collective space designed for study and meeting (64 meters long, 9.70 meters wide, 3.40 meters high). Within this large area, the toilet blocks, the only spaces defined by walls, have a height of 2.40 meters, without thereby interrupting the spatiality of the environment.
The two floors of the apartments, 8 apartments per level, rest on this transparent “box” set on a structural scheme with a 4-meter step. From a formal and functional point of view, the two floors are characterized by a wall totally closed by opening and adjustable doors that, if necessary, protect the apartments from the cold north winds.
The apartments are designed as spaces in constant redefinition, each apartment that can accommodate two students, is structured with movable dividing elements to be defined according to the occasions and daily opportunities with the simple opening of glass doors or mobile walls.
The north perspective drawing is dynamic, in fact with the game of open, partially open, or closed doors, its overall image will never be the same.
At the entrance of the apartment on the right is the cooking space while on the left we find the toilets, after passing the kitchen we enter the living space divided by a movable wall from the bedroom space; the two spaces are connected by means of glass doors to two loggias which are as well protected by perspective doors that open to the north.
The property is divided into two main situations: the residential part, which faces North and the covered transition space intended as a collective space, which faces South and which divides the closed part of the apartments from the open space of the park. It is the park that extends into the building or the building that reaches out towards the park. It is the space of socializing, studying and meeting that faces the sun, the island of San Servolo and the lagoon territory.
All the apartments can be reached through a dynamic interweaving of stairs and ramps positioned in the part of the building that opens towards the south, a transition space used as a study and completely open meeting that develops on the height of three floors where a series of pillars of wood, reminiscent of the lagoon “briccole” or the trunks of the large trees of the “Parco delle Rimembranze”, arranged in an apparently random way, support the roof.
Distribution paths (stairs and ramps) start between this tangle of “trees” or “briccole” and develop vertically and directly connect all the apartments with the collective area, in a distribution route that recalls Escher’s irrational stairs or stairs labyrinthine of Piranesian prisons.