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Competition: Waterproof, Venice

An open international ideas contest has been launched to upgrade the University of Venice’s waterfront planning faculty (Deadline: 3 November)

Open to multidisciplinary teams of emerging architects, the anonymous competition seeks ‘innovative and unique’ proposals to modernise and future-proof the landmark Palazzo Ca’ Tron building overlooking Venice’s historic Grand Canal.

The call for ideas aims to raise awareness of the risk that rising water levels pose to cities such as Venice, and to identify new methods to protect the site for generations to come. The project is supported by several local materials manufacturers who will assist competitors during the design development phase.

Palazzo Ca’ Tron, Venice

Palazzo Ca’ Tron, Venice

Palazzo Ca’ Tron, Venice

According to the brief: ‘The contest’s aim is to create a link between the world of design and production, stimulating innovative solutions that start from the knowledge and eventual customisation of materials used for the project.

‘This innovative place must become also an example of flexible intervention, capable of adapting to climate change and the global environmental challenges.’

The competition focuses on the waterfront Palazzo Ca’ Tron which hosts the University of Venice’s faculty of regional planning. It was constructed next to the Grand Canal in the late 15th century, and purchased by the university in 1972.

The competition seeks to improve the building’s relationship with Venice’s surrounding waterways by harnessing innovative techniques and materials to expand the building by around five per cent of its total floor area.

Palazzo Ca’ Tron, Venice

Palazzo Ca’ Tron, Venice

Palazzo Ca’ Tron, Venice

The competition is backed by Confindustria Venezia in partnership with local engineering and manufacturing companies, including Eurofibre, Lunardelli, Oikos, Saicam, Zintek and Fiel Fornasier.

Anonymous submissions must include two A1-sized display boards along with a technical report of 12 A3-sized pages featuring detailed plans, materials and descriptions. A model may also be submitted.

The overall winner, due to announced in November, will receive a €10,000 prize while a second prize of €4,500 and third prize of €2,000 will also be awarded.

How to apply

Deadline

The deadline for registrations is 20 October
The deadline for submissions is 6pm on 3 November

Contact details

Confindustria Venezia
Area metropolitana di Venezia e Rovigo
Via delle Industrie, 19
30175 Venezia Marghera
Parco Scientifico Tecnologico Vega
Edificio Lybra
Italia

Email: subscription@waterproof.confindustria.venezia.it , faq@waterproof.confindustria.venezia.it

Visit the competition website for more information

University of Kansas architecture school extension case study: Q&A with Dan Rockhill

The professor of architecture at the University of Kansas and creator of Studio 804 discusses lessons learned extending an existing architecture school

Dan Rockhill

Dan Rockhill

Dan Rockhill

How did your project deliver a sensitive extension to the University of Kansas architecture school?

The school had originally been built over 100 years ago as an engineering building and never had a place for lectures or a place for students to gather. We solved that problem by creating both a commons area as well as The Forum, a lecture and review space.

Which architectural, material, visual and other methods did you harness in your design?

We saw the opportunity to use The Forum as a demonstration of both sustainable and structural features to enhance our educational mission. All the mechanical and structural functions are exposed and, we like to think, used by our faculty to underscore their teaching of those topics.

University of Kansas architecture school extension by Studio 804

University of Kansas architecture school extension by Studio 804

University of Kansas architecture school extension by Studio 804

What advice would you have to contest participants on design an appropriate addition to the historic Università Iuav di Venezia?

I would encourage participants to review the needs of the school and to take a very direct approach in trying to solve those problems. Kansas had an architecture faculty of nearly 30 so you can bet we had no shortage of opinions to deal with. We had to increase our resolve about the very best way to keep focused and produce a building that was not only functional but also an attractive contribution to our historic campus. We received a lot of resistance in using the vented wall assembly because it had not been used before in our climate. This was probably our biggest challenge. In the end we were successful but I think you should expect many diverse opinions.

University of Kansas architecture school extension by Studio 804

University of Kansas architecture school extension by Studio 804

University of Kansas architecture school extension by Studio 804

Q&A with Valentina Temporin

The organiser and founder of experimental fabrication laboratory PoPlab discusses her ambitions for the contest

Valentina Temporin

Valentina Temporin

Valentina Temporin

Why are your holding a contest to expand the planning urban design school at the Università Iuav di Venezia?

Confindustria Venezia has chosen to entrust PoPlab to make this competition a thorough collaboration between the professionals’ world and the company’s one. The contest seeks to connect these two worlds, so they can find innovative solutions for the recovery of an ancient Venetian building, joining issues like sustainability, connection with the city and innovation. The partner companies’ production processes have been made available to entrants, while an open day in October will enable designers and companies to consult with each other on the project’s themes.

What is your vision for the new expanded school?

The Palazzo Ca’ Tron is located in the historic centre of the city. The planning opportunity is to use partner companies’ materials for innovative solutions that value the project’s location, to make Ca Tron connect with the city. Competitors are given a double challenge: to create a regeneration proposal for this historic building; but above all, to design a facility that can serve as an effective and consolidated example to retrieve and reactivate other Venetian buildings. The process must combine traditional knowledge and innovative projects, with the active involvement of the manufacturing sector.

Palazzo Ca’ Tron, Venice

Palazzo Ca’ Tron, Venice

Palazzo Ca’ Tron, Venice

What sort of architects and designers are you hoping will apply?

The contest is anonymous and focused on young architects. It offers the chance to work in a team, to encourage a multidisciplinary approach during the planning phase. Besides the cash prizes, proposals will be published in international architecture magazine The Plan. At the end of the contest, all the projects will be displayed in a dedicated exhibition in Venice, at the historic venue of the Camera di Commercio di Venezia, near Piazza San Marco.

Which other design opportunities are on the horizon and how will the architects/designers be procured?

Thanks to contest’s innovation level and the big response so far (around 600 people from 72 countries of the world have already downloaded the contest’s material), Confindustria Veneziais considering further competitions, keeping the focus on the connection between the professionals’ world and the companies’ world, for innovative challenges set in the beautiful city of Venice.

Palazzo Ca’ Tron, Venice

Palazzo Ca’ Tron, Venice

Palazzo Ca’ Tron, Venice