Lagoonscapes | Venice, Italy | Unit 21 | 2020

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Lagoonscapes
Venice National Park and Marine Laboratory
The project derived from initial interest and research studies concerning the unique ecosystem and ecology of the Venetian Lagoon. The morphology of the lagoon has been preserved and enhanced historically through human intervention; my project pursues and exaggerates this hybrid legacy of natural and artificial elements.
Colours of the Lagoonscape
Simulating the proposed seasonal variability of salinity and temperature, and pond volume
In recent times, the lagoon morphology has evolved rapidly due to the enhanced erosion of sandbars and salt marsh degradation. Whilst various measures are being taken in order to restore these ecosystems, the problem is far from being solved. Against this context, I propose the construction of an artificial archipelago of macro-ecosystems (or mesocosms) in the Lagoon of Venice that will host a variety of marine plants and organisms. Composed of a lacy network of dikes and ponds, the proposed “lagoonscape” creates a national park for Venetians with indoor and outdoor spaces, in addition to a dispersed marine laboratory dedicated to the research and harvest of biochemical and genetic resources.
The project was propelled through two design methods: the first, a computational workflow which engages the lagoon’s active processes as a source of design inspiration and as a digital framework and the second, a theoretical approach. The latter corresponds to my thesis which explored how architecture might contribute to the integration of cultural ecosystem services in coastal environments. Overall my hybrid methodology extends my developing interests and skills over the past two years and my wider reading and exposure to movements within architecture which operate at the intersection of design, technology and nature.
Ecosystem Modelling: Initiating the design process
Ultimately – the project has enabled me to explore and draw out my imaginations and interests. I set out by developing a close understanding of the complex ecological setting – demonstrating the significance of this knowledge, particularly for my proposal. I end by demonstrating how this knowledge can inspire the creative process and give way to fascinating architectural spaces that provide a range of cultural benefits for humans whilst effecting positive development within their native ecosystems.