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Nuovo Palazzo del Cinema, Lido, Venice

Part 2 Project 2005
Alex Jones
University of Westminster London UK
The Venice Film Festival, the oldest remaining film festival, faces increasing competition from Cannes, Toronto and Berlin. Its host island, the Lido di Venetia, is fashionable but struggles to maintain its overall prestige. The new Palace of Cinema gives an opportunity to address the festival’s future success.

The project responds to seasonal fluctuations, which require variable events of international and local interest, through adaptable organizations. Public spaces and internal/external circulation are reconfigured by changes in the hydrodynamic building envelope fuelled by the lagoon waters. The skin provides volumetric change and responds climatically via heat-sensitive bi-metallic apertures that change porosity and control shade, ventilation, and internal temperatures.

Alex Jones


The Nouvo Palazzo Del Cinema competition brief was recently distributed as an invited competition to ten ‘world class’ architects. It was the student’s intent to compete alongside these architectural offices within a similar timescale. Students or young architects after all, often create much of the work credited to these offices. Having seen the professional entries for the competition, we are repeatedly impressed by the comparative sophistication of this student’s proposal. In addition to the quality of work the quantity of work that has been produced in this project by this particular part-time student has been unparalleled.

The project is sited beside the existing casino and original cinema. It inhabits both the land and the edge of the canal. To address the dual frontage of the original complex the main proposal has been shifted around to the side to form a new entry which is reachable both by water (from the main Venetian Islands) and by the Lido roads. The project itself responds to seasonal usage fluctuations through volumetric shifts and internal reorganisations that are driven by waterpower from the lagoon. The skin of the project draped above the cinema volumes allow for this expansion and contraction of the internal volumes. The skin also responds to climate conditions via a heat-sensitive bi-metallic aperture whose changing porosity helps shade and ventilates the building.

2005
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