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Sinking Romanticism - Venice Observatory

Part 2 Project 2011
Kieran Sheehan
Mackintosh School of Architecture Glasgow UK
Due to Venice’s recent tourist popularity, its culture is becoming diluted and parts of the body of Venice are decaying. Much of the city’s focus has been on maintaining outward appearances and as a result various aspects of its architectural infrastructure has been ignored; fewer resources are being allocated to secluded and private elements. One example of such neglect is the campanili (bell towers); thirteen of which have since fallen.

Centrally located on Campo San Stin, an observatory will once again add to the punctuated dramatic horizontal Venetian skyline, replacing the site of old: a church and campanile. It intends to observe Venice on several levels, working in conjunction with the existing adjacent, now proposed attached, State Archive, which is currently overloaded with material and lacking public display. The two main support buildings, with suspended lecture room and archive with gallery space below, will also act as a medium to ascend the timber observatory tower to a 40m high viewing platform or descend to the exhibition cen¬tre, in the redeveloped disused Pozzo (cis¬tern), 8m underground to the heart of the Campo. The Campo was always the gathering point of a community and a stage for Venetian meeting and celebration. The exhibition centre will explain the story of Venice, once more celebrating Venetian custom and culture. The space will also act as an exhibit in its own right, functioning like a cistern of old, containing a floating 1:500 model of the city.


Sustainability agenda

Social -The campaniles of Venice were man¬ifest through a defiant optimism in an age when signifying status and celebrating the power of spiritual belief was paramount.

Akin to the ‘temporary’ Academia Bridge, this new timber campanile is a secular cel¬ebration of the Venetian spirit - a forlorn act of optimism, which celebrates a dimin¬ishing society, a visual exclamation mark, declaiming a sustainable future.

Kieran Sheehan

Tutor(s)
Ms Sally Stewart
Mr Charlie Sutherland
2011
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