Client: IUAV University of Architecture of Venice
Location: Venice, Italy
Coordinates: 45.495365, 12.237309
Climate: Temperate, Humid subtropical
Materials: Concrete, Glass
Types: Office, Office building, Residence, Residential
The project initially starts from some urban considerations of the city of Mestre and its potential. It is a proposal of urban regeneration for the area of the former hospital Umberto I, through the development of a new image and symbol for the area’s identity. Today Mestre shows a disordered urban texture, a result of a failure to urban plan during its rapid expansion, and a historical center of lesser quality, fragile, without a defined character. The Mestre of tomorrow will have to be an efficient city, in close contact with the realities of the lagoon of Venice and its change, designed for architectural and balanced urban systems with the actual society.
The proposed project is an intervention of new entity that uses the principle of the continuity of the squares within the bifurcation of the river Marzenego, developing the design of residential buildings, offices, commercial and public use. Such complexes result in a multifunctional tower that wants to represent a new symbol of change of the city.
The island, a site in the centre
The area of the hospital Umberto I, as well is known by inhabitants is located in the island of the historical center of the city where the Marzenego river splits into two sections and then reunited in Cialdini area. The first settlement dates back to the Middle Ages on the site of the Castelvecchio, not to be confused with Castelnuovo instead was bounded by the still existing Clock Tower to Via Spalti. Today nothing remains of the walls of the medieval castle, except the abandoned bridge, once an important passage of access to the area. In 2008 after the demolition of some hospital pavilions the site became soon a huge “urban hole” and later a degraded area. The strategic and central area is halfway between the new hub of the tram station in Cialdini square and the SFMR train station in Via Olimpia, and not far away are the most significant public buildings of the city as the cinema and cultural center Candiani, the Toniolo Theater and the new museum of the ‘900 M9, connected with the three squares Barche, Ferretto and Candiani.
The plan, the square between the green
The 47,000 sqm irregular area is bordered by four different fronts: from the north by Marzenego river, from the south by via Antonio da Mestre, from the east by via Einaudi, from the west by via Circonvallazione. The Masterplan is born mainly by a system of existing paths, taken as guidelines for new buildings of the project; the latter provides the addition of four buildings, two of which are parallel to via Circonvallazione and houses residences, offices and public activities, where the north 7 floors high will define a head while the south 5 floors high ends with a pitch. More central are the other two residential buildings with 6 floors with irregular plan dictated by the different points of view turned to green areas. All are part of a continues sinuous line and reminiscent of a wall which then ends
with a tower.
The glass basement of the four buildings is very fragmented to remember the urban texture of the city and here are placed the various commercial and retail activities; going up instead become more linear and has four large public terraces where there are other commercial activities and work spaces.
The main access to the site run along the northsouth axis with the bridge of Castelvecchio (subject of restoration) and via Antonio da Mestre and from eastwest axis, following the trend of the vast square of 8000 sqm. The ground floor is completed by a large garden of 11000 sqm with various species of trees including Liquidambar, Robinia, Tigliothat joined the park of Villa Querini and the garden of via Einaudi surround the entire intervention.
The tower, the landmark of the city
The inclusion of a tower takes us back to the first settlement area where the Castelvecchio of Mestre was characterized by lookout towers of masonry, it wants to emphasize the importance of this area for the inhabitants of the city. Within the Masterplan is presented as the starting point of this sinuous and broken line of buildings. The tower of 30 levels, placed at 6.25 meters compared to 0, is formed by two faceted polygon of 9 sides joined by a bridge and presents its highest point to +133.75 meters relative to the ground, for a total of 140 meters building.
Initially starts with a “basement” and then taper to form a triangle. Inside the functional program is divided into: offices (from l2 to l+10), restaurant and panoramic terrace (from l+11 to l+12), hotel (from l+13 to l+20) lofts (from l+21 to l+27), skydeck (from l+28 to l+29). With its height will be visible up to 50 kilometers away and will become the new landmark of the city of Mestre.