Pierre Cardin to build Venice skyscraper
Vast regeneration project will be ‘pinnacle’ of fashion designer’s career
Venice has approved a 60-storey tower designed and funded by fashion designer Pierre Cardin, which will transform its skyline.
It will be the centrepiece of a vast project to build a whole new suburb on reclaimed land north of the historic city.
City governor Luca Zaia described the Palais Lumiere project as Venice’s Eiffel Tower and likened Cardin to Lorenzo the Magnificent, Florence’s great Medici patron.
“It is not easy to find someone who is willing to spend a billion and a half of their money on the region,” he said. “We needed a patron to reclaim this land and create an artistic symbol… our Eiffel Tower or Louvre pyramid. Whether or not you like it, it will be a work of great architecture and engineering.”
He said every visitor to the city would want to see the Palais Lumiere - and claimed credit for persuading Cardin to build it in Venice rather than Paris or Moscow.
Cardin, who was born near Venice 89 years ago, described the scheme as the “pinnacle” of his career.
The tower will be built in the former industrial area of Porto Marghera and will be at the heart of a 160ha project that will clean up polluted brownfield areas and reclaim further land from the lagoon.
Cardin’s striking design involves three separate fins joined at a number of levels by six horizontal discs accessed by lifts. Its height and diameter will both be 244m.
Conceived as a gateway to Venice, it will be a hub for the creative industries including a fashion and design college, exhibition space and incubators for start-up businesses.
Some reports said it would also contain a hotel, restaurants, indoor and outdoor pools, a cinema, roof gardens, a heliport and even a hospital.
The wider development will include 35,000 sq m of residential, 25,000 sq m of hotels and restaurants, 115,000 sq m of offices, 60ha of landscaping, 100,000sq m of parking, plus new infrastructure.
The city authorities this week gave Cardin permission to enter a simplified planning process.