Tavola 01

The Mazzoni Thermal Power Station is the historical engine of the Venetian railway station Santa Lucia. It is one of the main examples of Rationalist Architecture in Venice, built between 1933 and 1937 on Angiolo Mazzoni's plan: it is a building of 17000 cubic meters that has been forgotten for 50 years when it was dismantled with no respect to industrial archeology and it came to us as a big fascinating empty box.
The project combines needs that are apparently irreconcilable: it creates a contemporary living unit while preserving a major example of quality architecture, despite the numerous alterations made down the years to the interior. This has been done with the intention to enhance the spacial qualities and the architectural details of the ancient Thermal Power Station and with the intention to innervate functional and expressive rationality elements and solutions , according to the principles of lightness.
The box has been renovated with the most innovative preservative technique, without nicking the box. Into the box we built a new light “building inside the building” six floors high, made of wood and steel. The building has 38 property units and one wellness centre.
We used the best of sustainable technology in 2004, looking toward 2010.
The integration of the building into the Venice historic centre (area that is subject to monumental bond) has caused the inability to open the facades to let in the necessary light. This situation has forced the central court emptying, the opening cuts of the roof, by special skylights, and, where it's possible, the designing of horizontal ribbon windows, which added to the existing and preserved ones.
The bond system has given some possibilities to the project: it has offered the chance to introduce the earth's heat use in Venice by using 28 geothermal probe 120 meter long, to preserve the historic bound building roof from solar and photovoltaic panels. Dry partitions, radiating panels, mechanical ventilation system and activated sludge treatment allow ecological comfort conditions. It is a class A+ building.
A big organic shape connect all the building parts offering a promenade of emotional experiences made of lights and shadows, colour variations and gashes all building height.
 

Tavola 02

Venice is an organic city, where the sea water goes in for six hours and goes out for six hours from the lagoon, which surrounds the city.. The saltwater is mixed with fresh water of the lagoon, creating a unique ecosystem, where, perhaps, against nature, man has built.
In these green water, due to the life of the seabeds, everything is reflected, starting from the sky which provides colour variations throughout the day, seasons and weather conditions.
Colours in motion never graspable.
In these waters, besides the sky, Byzantium and Palladio's architecture are reflected, but also the less known architecture of the twentieth century.
The facades, carefully preserved by the restoration project, as evidence of the Venetian industrial revolution, hide the heart of the organic redevelopment project.
The "rationalistic essence" hid a secret: each geometrical relationship was linked by golden ratio; a shell appeared connecting the dots. The organic Venice unveiled by rationality.
This inheritance from history suggested to organize the distribution spaces as a series of sensory and chromatic perceptions, never the same, where natural light comes in and changes colour during the day and seasons. Each window has a different colour, as well as the parapets, through a combination which does not give references, keeping mind out of rationality, which improperly lives in the space of feelings.
The glasses stains the light, both natural and artificial, during the night, but they are also a mirror reflecting the surrounding context and they have the ability to mirror themselves on water, in the heart of the building, where often reigns a surreal silence, difficult to find in the tourist town by now.
Colour, glass, stones, bricks, wood, light, organic shapes make a single and whole system of reference for the project. This material is always present in the city, every corner is colour.
Glass is a founding part of the industrial heritage of this city.
In the project, the use of the colour is related to the red brick and white Istrian stone, the materials of the city.
More light in the sky than on earth: the project has brought the light into the building, where darkness reigned before.
The organic shapes are in human nature themselves. When the water goes in and out from the canals with the tides, is like the breath of the planet.