This project was about the restoration of 200 hectares of oak and hornbeam woods which disappeared over the course of the last century. The site is placed on what is left of the dry land of Venice, eroded by drainage interventions and intensive agriculture, creating an ecologically impoverished landscape.
Through the aid of soil and water re-naturalization programs this restoration will give Venice residents spaces in touch with nature. The environment will also benefit from this transformation: it will bring back the original Flora and Fauna, decrease the quantity of CO2 and other polluting products that circulate in the urban area, reduce hydrogeological risk by increasing water containment capacity and lower the quantity of polluted products that flow into the lagoon.
The riverbanks are designed to eliminate the concrete used previously to channel the river system. This adjustment creates new wetlands, enables the body of water to have its winding and bankside vegetation restored. There will be long pedestrian and cycle paths which will enable people to cross these natural spaces and will integrate the areas of the project which are disconnected from the main infrastructure.
The only building located in the restored landscape will be an example of eco-friendly and sustainable contemporary architecture. The building will be designed to fully integrate with the landscape, appearing like a relief within a meadow that visitors will encounter by accident. Visitors will gain access through a “dromos” that wraps around the embedded structure and the interior space will consist of two different spatial flows that become one.
A basement and sloping roof garden exist in the main infrastructure which will have a very low impact on the area and reduce the consumption of natural soil. The roof garden will shelter the structure and will allow considerable energy saving so that operating and maintaining costs will be reduced. The soil will work as an insulator thus allowing the winter warmth to be kept inside, and natural lighting, coming from wide glass walls and from roof lights, will give quality to internal space even in the basement.
The building will be realized with ecological criteria obtaining interior comfort through the lowest energy consumption and the interior will be capable of creating flexible spaces to hold exhibitions and didactic areas in nature.