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Theatre for Social Exploration

Part 1 Project 2008
Christopher Wong
Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL) London UK
The program combines both an academic theatre complex and public garden for local Venetians. A response to the city's current introverted character, the scheme instigates cultural exploration by holding exhibitions and lectures from invited anthropological researchers. The building is constructed upon tall stilts to foster the natural landscape underneath as a public garden. Derived from the Scuole principles, the constructed and natural landscapes of the scheme become a social fabric, encouraging interaction between its inhabitants. Dialectics between a sustainable structural syntax and Venetian construction techniques are investigated in conjunction with the notion of space and light as architectural materials.
Christopher Wong


Chris Wong's architectural response to one of the few remaining empty lots on Guidecca and the saturated urban fabric of Venice results in a complex structure that elevates on carefully choreographed timber stilts. It aims not only to preserve the wild life that has developed on site but is also seen as an intervention whose external and internal boundaries are indistinct.
The ground floor is articulated as an 'architectural forest' where the close grid of slender support blends with the existing tall grasses creating a hybrid landscape for the use of the community. With his progressive take on the notion of 'on pilotis', the guiding metaphor of the 'Architectural Forest' becomes the trigger to a thorough yet poetic investigation of timber construction that revisits the vernacular building methods to generate a very personal and sustainable architectural language.'

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2008
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