Class 2011: Christopher N. Christophi, Leicester School of Architecture
A project in reaction to pressures facing the Venetian lagoon and the increasing threat of invasive algae growth, due to the nearing completion of the Lagoon’s MOSE flood gates.
Ecological research and Algae Monitoring Facility, Venice, Italy
Situated in the derelict naval warehouses at the North of the Arsenale which face out onto the Lagoon, the project proposes a group of laboratories and structures that will monitor, analyse and understand algae growth and the welfare of the lagoon whilst collecting and harvesting the existing crop for bio-fuel to give back to the city.
The laboratories will stand detached from the historic fabric within the warehouses and walkways will project themselves out into the Lagoon, attaching at points to the surrounding defensive wall formed around the Arsenale. These will connect the three laboratory towers which will form a new layer of defence, that will be representative of its aim to protect Venice and its Lagoon against new problems.
These structures will stand alive, living symbiotically within their environment, by using their Lagoon’s invasive species to drive the sustainability of the project whilst also creating site specific architecture. The local living materials will create an interactive building which will evolve throughout the year reflecting the changing state of the lagoon and Venetian climate.
Christopher’s project began from his in-depth research and understanding of Venice’s bio-climate, focusing on the increasing threat of algae growth in the lagoon. Situated in the derelict naval warehouses at the Arsenale, Chris proposes a group of laboratories and structures that monitor, analyse and understand the algae growth, whilst collecting and harvesting the existing crop for bio-fuel to give back to the city.
Chris’s work is generated from a passionate interest in site driven research that is materialised and presented through exceptional drawings and narratives, that showcase the spatial poetics of architecture.
His atmospheric drawings, collages and rendered capture the romance and beauty of its context whilst the buildings’ high-tech aesthetic hints at the rigorous, pragmatic and sustainable ambition behind this proposal.
Sarah Shafiei and Ben Cowd