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Fraying the Edge - A New Hospital for Venice

Part 2 Project 2012
Laura Barr
Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, UK
"Fraying the Edge - A New Hospital for Venice" is a project of fragmentation, distribution and construction; a proposition for the hard straight edge of the Fondamenta Nuove to the north of the Cannaregio.

Evolving through a series of 'Locks' - small investigations capable of considerable architectural significance - and 'Maps' - drawn acts of investigation and inventions, the Hospital occupies the watery channel between Venice and Murano.

Locked into the urban fabric of the Cannaregio, the project offers a sequence of wings as crafted spines to accommodate medical specialisms, walkways and bridges to meet the demands of emergency and trauma, latter-day Campos for gathering and orientation and discrete Cabinetti for surgery, pharmacy and pathology.

This is an architecture of utility informed by the 'Cloud' of Venice where formal logic is rarely explicit, where institutions merge and emerge and material and structure constantly create land.

Venice is a city in a state of flux. Stuck between its rich and colourful history and a mass influx of tourism, the city is struggling to survive as a living, working city. Its unique location, which in the past has been so accountable for its trading, economic and cultural success, is now responsible for its social breakdown.

Here the architectural proposition opens a wider discussion. From interaction with the historic to its role in the modern world. In this case there is a sustainable factor to the project. One that tries to retain Venice as a living working city. The proposal creates new public spaces that extend into the lagoon and back into the city fabric.

Laura Barr


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