Hai Chi

Hai Chi

Saint Louis, MO, US


A Public Archives for Venice | An Addition to Le Corbusier's (Unbuilt) Venice Hospital

Professor: Robert McCarter

The studio program, a new Public Archives of Venice, proposes a publicly-accessible copy of the State Archives of Venice, which contains the world's most comprehensive historical records of the period 700-1800 AD. In addition to the 56 miles of shelving required to house the collection, the 50,000-square-foot program will include public reading rooms, meeting rooms and lecture halls, and other spaces appropriate to a new cultural center and meeting place for the city, and the world.

This new Public Archives is to be made as an "addition" to Le Corbusier's Venice Hospital, designed in 1964 and-for purposes of this project-presumed to have been built in 1967 on the western waterfront in the San Giobbe neighborhood of the Cannaregio district in northwest Venice. The hospital was largely dedicated to the care of acutely or terminally ill patients, and it was organized on three levels; the first connected directly to the streets and canals of the city; the second housed preventive care; the third level housed the terminally ill patients, their visitors, and the services they required. Le Corbusier developed the unique pinwheeling circulation diagram, as well as the layered "mat" building, for his studies of the urban fabric of Venice.

The studio begins with a sketch project allowing students to develope their own interpretation of the concept of "archive", as a place preserving records of the past, for the future. Following this exercise there is a short research and a field trip to Venice. Next the studio engages in disciplinary research by reconstructing Le Corbusier's project for the Venice Hospital, in midel and drawings, for use in documenting the "additions" of the students' indicidual designs. 

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Status: School Project
Location: Venice, IT