Thursday24 July 2014

Pierre Cardin to build Venice skyscraper

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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.



Readers' comments (14)

  • At least one potential visitor doesn't want to see it.

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  • Mike Duriez


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  • I was in Venice last week and of the few modern buildings actually constructed there, most are lousy. It struck me that this was perhaps a rare case of preserving the historic fabric at all costs. However, the above isn't even on one of the surrounding islands and so looks to be quite exciting! Presumably whoever's saying 'yes' or 'no' to the proposal has more than this image to judge it by. And even if its luxurinat specification lends it a gaudy sheen, would that be out of place in the vicinty of such a former trading republic? I mean, the chirch on St.Mark's square has a facade that's in some sense an exotic marbles showroom and hardly abashed in presentation...

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  • Some people should rather do what they can do best, instead of doing our job badly

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  • Porto Marghera is Venice's industrial area. It's on the mainland. It's where most of Venice's real inhabitants live and work. Its heavily polluting industries include shipbuilding and refitting, oil refineries,etc. It's a bit of an ecological disaster. Most tourists never see Porto Marghera and have never heard of it. That's where this hideous new building is to be constructed.

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  • zecks_marquise

    and there was me thinking that all that pierre cardin designed was crappy shirts found exclusively in designer outlets. Not to worry, just like everything else in Italy, as soon as they realise how much this will cost, they will cancel it.

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  • the detail on the ring road is superb

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  • always a good sign when a "billion and a half" investment project is depicted by a crappy model badly rendered onto a google earth surface.

    and "horizontal disks accessed by lifts"... am i missing something or is this what we would normally simply call a 'floor"..?

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  • "perceived as a gateway to Venice..." Has Cardin actually seen a gateway then...?

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  • tesserae

    Well, it is better than a sinking island city. And Venice has developed some interesting recycling processes - reducing rubbish to pellets which then feed electric turbines. Expect they have to be innovative in other aspects too. Over the time of their existence the Venetians have been naturally inventive, this could be part of that character for survival. When one is awash with beauty, a little handy starkness hardly get noticed!

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