Typology: Residential Architecture
Organisers: Oikos and Fondazione Querini Stampalia
Site: Venice, Italy
The entrance employs green technologies and sustainable materials such as rammed earth whitewashed with clay plaster, local bamboo and aluminium and glass recycled from the waste of neighbour industries.
The entrance is envisioned to serve a multi-family residential block, in an imaginary Italian city, which prides itself on the high quality of its modern design and manufacturing.
The project aims to provide an iconic, unifying and secure space for the residents, to enhance their sense of place and belonging.
This was achieved by a balanced inclusion of a range of distinct spaces, moments, forms and details, enabling different memories in users with different backgrounds.
Following is a fictional account of three residents from the block, asked to describe their entrance with one sentence and elaborate on their replies. Each resident has a personal image of the entrance; while they are all different, they all describe the same space.
A City in a Building
When I think of our building, the image of our entrance immediately comes to my mind. Similarly, when I think of New York I can see the Brooklyn Bridge, of London the Tower Bridge and of Prague the Charles Bridge.
We can agree that bridges are icons for cities, they are not only aesthetically attractive but they are full of meanings and memories from their users. The best way I can describe the entrance to our building is by comparing it to a city's bridge.
Unity in Duality
When we look at our entrance we can distinguish different functions often given by a pair of features. For instance, the entrance gives us security by playing with openness and closure: the openness of the view field and the closure of the security door.
It offers us a place to stop and feel in awe while looking at the pond and feel empowered while standing on the top of the bridge and glancing at the space before and after us. It brings a further moment of power when it allows us to choose whether to open the door on the left or right side, further allowing both right and left-handed people to open the security door with their stronger arms.
An Insidious Performance
The entrance space feels like a choreographed stage, where all the elements are ingeniously engaged in a performance. I can exit the elevator and look at the rain coming inside. I can come back home and find sculpted vases in the background inviting me in.
I find myself always looking above me and investigating a funny-shaped roof. I stop for a moment on top of the bridge to look at the space in front of me and I walk, jump and tiptoe on the hard floor and on the moist soil.