Weather Vane

ProjectVenice Lagoon Park competition sponsored by 2G
LocationVenice, Italy
DateDesigned 2007

In a zone just over one meter in depth, the fluctuating water levels of the Venice lagoon create one of the most ecologically rich areas in the country. Venice lagoon is Italy’s largest wetland, yet visitors to the area are rarely apprised of this fact. Our proposal makes the new park and development indices of environmental display, thereby immersing both resident and tourist in the experiential potential of this aqueous landscape.

The lagoon attracts 15 million visitors per year, half of whom are day-trippers to Venice, seeking immersion in the architectural fabric of the city. This exerts immense pressure on the lagoon ecosystem as well as the residents of Venice. Though it is not desirable to abandon the tourism potential of this region since it accounts for 70 percent of the local economy, it is possible to understand the relationship between these natural and economic forces as cooperative rather than opposing.

Weather Vane organizes a framework of buildings, programs, and habitats through an interconnected network of loops: educational, event, and littoral. These loops provide a legible and resilient structure while encouraging a variety of adjacencies: artificial/natural, native/exotic, docile/wild, work/play. Our strategy simply amplifies existing processes through new hydrological hybrids, providing a circuit for both resident and tourist to enjoy and understand the lagoon ecology of which they are a part.