The studio explores the notion of heritage within the context of the Venice lagoon, through the design of a new naval museum for the city of Venice on the site of the Bacini di Carenaggio in the Venice Arsenale.
The Venetian Bacini di Carenaggio can be considered the last residual element of continuity we inherit from the glorious past of the Venetian tradition of boat construction and maintenance, which some recent Venetian policies put in risk of closure. At the same time, the Museo Navale, which presently occupies a Palazzo on the Riva degli Schiavoni, is in need of renovation.
The design hypothesis of a new museum in the Bacini needs to happen while preserving the working activities of boat maintenance. This idea becomes an opportunity to transform and expand the city’s public and cultural life towards the edges, at the same time aiming to preserve and protect the knowledge and skills of boat related activities, potentially generating significant synergies between the two systems.
The aim of the studio is as well to investigate strategies of physical interventions to critically generate a new spatial condition in a context of extraordinary heritage value, the Venice Arsenale, confronting with the fragile environment of the Venice Lagoon in terms of urban, historical, environmental and social aspects.
A continuous and vital transformation of the context is for us its identity. Architects mould the future heritage and this is a fundamental responsibility of their work.
A trip to Venice is part of the studio experience. Students will benefit from close exposure to the topics at play through direct experience of the landscape of the Venetian lagoon, visit of the site and the Arsenale, visit of the Venice Architecture Biennale, direct visits to artisans laboratories (carpenters, smiths, boat builders, etc…) who are still taking care of the city and the lagoon.