Undergraduate and graduate programmes offered by the University iuav of Venice:



Au fil de l’eau

San Giacomo in Paludo students group 2

Pilar Fernandez Rueda, Jessica Goldenberg, Francesca Lastrucci, Louise Le Penndu



«Like earlier generations of English intellectuals who taught themselves Italian in order to read Dante in the original, I learned to drive in order to read Los Angeles in the original.»

Reyner Banham


Venice as Los Angeles grew up around mobility. The city is established in a harsh environment. The whole territory of the lagoon by its aquatic situation has been domesticated by humans. They created an artificial landscape built for boat. Also, we discover the lagoon of Venice not from the road by car as Reyner Banham, but from the canals, by boat.


Water in the area of Venice plays a significant role. Besides being a transport infrastructure, the lagoon is a public space, and in the past used as a merchant area where seallers dealed on the sea.


So, in our project, the thing we really want to make sure is to maintain the strong relationship between island and lagoon.


The island of San Giacomo in Paludo seems isolated in the center of the lagoon. The insular character of the island is being reinforced with the perimeter wall that enclosed the island. Limits structure space, we may feel disorientated and confused, lost between sky and sea, ground and walls. But, as a paradox it is situated in a very strategic urban structure at a crossing point on the center of the lagoon. So we can see the island from all sides of the sea. The canals side of the island is punctually opened on the water. There is a fishermen sanctuary, toilets opened on water, and a delivery access.


Upon this potential we will be able to really increased this porosity and generate a strong connection, a continuity between the inside and the outside, between the public lagoon and the private island.


The whole morphological aspect of the project reflects the idea of porosity, interractions. As well, the building is developped like a line, a common thread that offers visual escapes, diverse points of view which invites the walker to discover the island and the lagoon. Therefore the architecture plays with the limits of the wall creating various grade levels. One more higher to contemplate the sea and one other more anchored to the ground. There remains the reminiscence of the past used of the island like a gunpowder storage and holy place protected from the outside world. Earthwork is an analogy with embarkment fortification and retaining wall.

The programme is expanding along a functional wall, that linked multi-programmatic units with walkways. It starts from the periphery, from public space, to the center of the island which contains a more private programme. On the periphery we have public programme common from boat and walkers. Like a water cinema which has a close relationship between the inside and the outside because it is an open screen, a window opened to the lagoon from one side used as a theater, and a cinema from the other. A restaurant that serves both the outside as a take away boat and the inside as a cafeteria. In the center a more private programme : a handcraft manufactory. In few weeks America’s Cup takes place in Venice and we want to take advantage of this event by setting on the handcraft manufactory, a sailmaker that could recycle sails of ships to makes bags and furnitures reusing them.


As a result, the edifice blend in the surrounding landscape, being an integral part of the sailing culture.