Terrain Play | Venice, Italy | Unit 21 | 2020

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In a dense city that is constantly battling with overtourism and space, this project hopes to improve the quality of life for Venetians. Inspired by the Venice Biennale, this project aims to create a landscape that activates the Garden of Eden, a large neglected private garden located south of the historic island of Venice. The Garden is in dialogue with the Giardini, where the Biennale takes place annually. By making it public, it returns to the Venetians what the Biennale has taken away: a communal space for play and gather.

The project promotes play in an unconventional way by creating forms that are abstract and reduced, not allowing the form the dictate the actions of the user and never influencing them too rigidly. Sharing similar ideas to Adventure Playgrounds in 1943, the project also celebrates the element of risk that is involved in play. The landscape aspires to be a complex and intricate surface, where the boundary between the wall and floor is indistinguishable. It also looks into sculptural qualities on different scales that provoke play at different levels.

The roofscape is constructed from a variety of glass to support and boost the dying craftsmanship of glassmaking in Venice. This project pushes and challenges the limit of craft and commercial glass to
fit the unique performance requirements of the programme and building. A material toolkit is created to break up the surface into multiple combinations of tile types to reflect different surface criteria such as grip, slope angle and, transparency. Rendering is also used as a method of material testing to calibrate it’s visual performance under different environmental conditions.