University Island



Project Description

The project shows three distinct actions on the island (recovering historical buildings, student accommodation and university campus). These actions interact in a complementary way within the project area and are in direct communication with each other via the pedestrian cardo. On the cardo’s borders, two small harbours take place just for mooring small boats and ferries. This new access layout to the island allows, once landed on the island, to be on the way to the project’s distribution backbone. There is also a small landing stage located on the west side of the island that gives the possibility to land directly near to the historical area; in this way it is possible to land next to the auditorium, planning events not directly connected to the university campus daylife. The island’s historic buildings have undergone a functional redevelopment and its internal distribution has been redesigned; in this area we can find a library, an exhibition space, an auditorium, the teachers’ offices and other functions (social centre, bar restaurant, outdoor theater), which defines the sociocultural part. The housing development, located on the east side of the cardo, was conceived from the desire to study a module able to manage the residential area with prefabricated elements. The structural grid allows the use of modular elements to dispose modules freely with different functions (neighbourhood services) that can make self-sustaining life on campus. At the moment the grid has been used partially, only to meet the brief needs, however, it has been designed to allow a higher supply of accommodations. A rainwater collection system collects water from the green roofs through a sewage system in order to irrigate the green areas when required. There are two different distribution systems from the cardo to the housing development; these two arms, as well as the central spine, have been planned to reduce the energy consumption of the whole masterplan: on the roof there is a curtain system which uses organic photovoltaic technology; on the other side, the floor has been designed with piezoelectric flooring technology. The northern side, dedicated to the university campus, was conceived from the idea of proposing an integrated territorial approach able to reduce the impact of the built. The plan has been studied through the use of shapes that come from nature and moulded together with the possibility to insert the central cardo within the campus as sort of landing stage. The idea of preserving the green roof of the buildings, combined with the desire of taking advantage of a privileged point of view to contemplate the Venetian Lagoon, has led us to raise three-dimensionally only certain parts of the drawn shapes. This idea defined a hypogeal campus, due to south, able to have an additional source of illumination through openings arranged along the walkable roof, equipped with wooden bleachers. There are several ways to get into the campus (the cardo and different vertical lifts located nearby the area); in this way it is possible to distinguish from the outside every single building, meanwhile, inside, you are involved in a whole permeable system. And what about the Octagon? It’s been considered as landmark, a pure symbol of the island; that is why we have thought of a wood, accessible only during certain weeks (for meetings or graduations) with temporary platforms.

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