Liya Zhu

Liya Zhu

Saint Louis, MO, US



The project is for a publicly accessible copy of the State Archives of Venice, which contains the world’s most comprehensive historical records of 700-1800AD. In addition to the 56 miles of shelving required to house the collection, the project also includes space appropriate to a new cultural center as a meeting place for Venice.

This new Public Archives is to be made as an “addition” to Le Corbusier’s Venice Hospital, designed in 1964, on the western waterfront in the San Giobbe neighborhood in northwest Venice. The hospital, largely dedicated to the care of acutely or teminally ill patients, was organized on three levels. Le Corbusier developed lignting bars, the unique pin-wheeling circulation diagram for the hospital, as well as the layered “mat” building, from his studies of the urban fabric of Venice.


Concept for Public Archives

(1) Corb’s bar language

Let bars directed by the traffic direction of the canal extending from road to water.

Translucent bars are for lighting between shelves. Solid bars are for small quiet reading in-between lighting bars. Some go down more to the water to become bigger public places for reading or discussion.

(2) Venizia lives play with water

Columns in hospital are dense and thick. The archives is much lighter than hospital with bars in a different language hanging above water.

Imagine when people inside reading in hanging bars above water, people outside boating on lagoon between up-and-down bars and reflection. It’s only through water they see more of architecture.





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Status: School Project
Location: Venice, Italy