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The fort of knowledge

Mazzorbetto Fort students group 4

Jose Manuel Ballesteros, Agathe Saint-Genis, Jonida Turani




Our Project consists in the idea of reusing the Fortified place  in a potential way, respecting the microscale (the island) and the macroscale (the lagoon). Trying to extend the possibilities the Mazzorbetto Fort could offer, in different workshops (business uncubators) that can be multiplied in the future in the northern part of the island. We also place in the most important facade of the Mazzorbetto Island three strong and solid buildings that face the island of Torcello, Burano and Mazzorbo with the function of common spaces and create with the Fort and the new entrance a little square similar to a venetian Campo where the “Church” is the Mazzorbetto Fort.


Sustainable Development

The design of the workshops characterized by a double skin perimeter consists of an inner layer made ​​of a glass electrochromic to avoid glare, and an outer layer consisting of a low-emissivity glass. This double-skin is provided with suitable openings to ensure a good ventilation and maintenance walkways. In the summer the excess heat is disposed through a natural ventilation obtained by air currents, through the openings on the bottom of the atrium and in the highest part of the building. To shield the sun have been designed slat blinds placed on the roof, covered with a semi-transparent photovoltaic film that allows the recovery of energy from the sun and plenty of natural light diffused, very useful in art workshops.


Environmental Approach:

The three main buildings that we propose next to the fort have a strong relationship with the lagoon. They are like visual “cannons”, like telescope of the breathtaking view the lagoon offers in front of the island. The three common spaces (meeting, lecture and computer room) face respectively the Torcello’s Tower, the Church of Burano and Mazzorbo island.


Cultural Dimension:

The purpose of the project is to reestablish continuity through embankment curves as a lava flow initially in an organic way till they meet with elements of the buildings that bear to be translated into geometric shake that remind elements of the fortified places like cannons and bastions. The second force is generating a vibrating movement that invading the green space creates depressions, rises and leaves the sediment in which you enter the buildings and the various activities hosted in them. The main building is the fort, which emerges in the center of the garden acting as a door, you leave through the main path. Next to the fort rise potentially three buildings which are the meeting room, the lecture room and the computer room. Their shape and localization comes from the idea of  suggesting one more time  the three military bastions  and giving them a completely different character and function.


Identification of potentiality:

The project represents an attempt of integration between bioclimatic architectural composition and discipline as early as the design of the overall layout and arrangement of architecture, designed in the form of a continuous band of alternating units and open/covered spaces. The maintenance of embankments, as a result the space  inside closed on itself enables  to keep the winds from the south which, go through the "holes" of the spaces between buildings , creating a natural internal microclimate. The facades of the new cells are treated with electrochromic glass, which can be activated manually if necessary to protect themselves from solar radiation. This mechanism leads to uniformity in the faēade of the darkening of the windows and the lagoon water.