European Cultural Centre Venice
Design as a Dialogue
between Tradition and Modernity
Strada Nuova 3659, 30124 Venice, Italy
28 May to 27 November 2016
Open daily 10:00 to 18:00
Free entry. Closed on Tuesdays
European Cultural Centre Venice – Design as a Dialogue between Tradition and Modernity The results of the 2015 aac spring workshop will be presented at Palazzo Mora as part of the “TIME – SPACE – EXISTENCE” exhibition of the Global Art Affairs Foundation. This means that the designs can be viewed in the very building for which they were intended as part of the change of use to become the future European Cultural Centre (ECC).
The Global Art Affairs Foundation, which has successfully made a name for itself as curator and organizer of internationally renowned exhibitions at both Biennales, had seized the initiative for developing the idea in order to make a wider public aware of the project for a European cultural center.
Consequently, the objective of the workshop was to develop designs for an adequate architectural presence of an establishment that makes the cultural identity of Europe the focus of its activities beyond institutional/political associations. In addition, the exercise has to be understood as an exemplary model project for finding new and hopefully sustainable cultural uses for the increasing number of empty prestigious buildings in Venice, thereby making a contribution towards halting the continuing decline of this “floating city”.
For this reason, the students had to create designs – in the spirit of a design dialogue between tradition and modernity – that represented an intervention that is as modern as it is sensitive to the existing situation, as a messenger of a modernity which is able to make its entry into the centuryold Venetian tradition with the respectful stance of a temporary guest. The room schedule included rooms for exhibitions and conferences, a library, a research archive, a café, and space for researchers and artists in residence.
Architecture students and young graduates from Germany, Italy, and China were grouped into four teams with four members each and developed independent design solutions, aided by the intensive mentoring provided by the workshop tutors, guest professors, experts, and lecturers. The three-anda-half week course began with an excursion to Venice, followed by the actual design phase in the aac studios at the Rainvilleterrasse campus in Hamburg.
As in every workshop, the design process was supported with mentoring, intermediate critiques, lectures by well-known experts such as Giulia Foscari (OMA/AMO), Alexander Schwarz (David Chipperfield Architects Berlin) and Maria A. Segantini (C+S Architects), the final presentation, and a subsequent public exhibition of the results in Hamburg.
The workshop designs open up a wide field of architectural possibilities for activating Palazzo Mora for use as the ECC. According to the Global Art Affairs Foundation, they are intended to form the basis for the ongoing implementation of the project.