Imagining New Venice

“Imagining New Venice” was one of my favorite visualization and rendering projects that I did before going freelance.  The competition called for the development of a parcel of land with quite a heavy program of housing, golf course, and marina. Although not as widely known as say, Dutch polders, these agricultural lands at the mouth of the Piave river in the Veneto are all surrounded by dikes and well under sea level. Within the competition area the team chose to partially flood the polder in order to recreate native ecosystems as well as a marina. There is an extremely intensive program going on here including 450 residences that are mostly grouped in floating pavilion clusters which spatially extend the three different island zones.

I created the following collages in order to capture the different atmospheres and particularities of each zone as follows: the reed polder, the “kreken” or river-edge/creek landscape, and finally a forest polder of natural but linearly oriented forest.

Part of the program is also a 27-hole golf course, but we are really attempting to integrate into the rest of this designed landscape with grace, and make it as ecologically intelligent as possible. The reed polder functions as a giant water purification system.

Views of the “kreken” polder system with floating houses on the edge:

Serious water hazard, but good for wildlife… A golf green edges a large marsh filled with different species of birds. The Bay of Venice is very nearby, which is a Unesco site of large importance for wildlife (as well as the architecture…) Some of those birds listed in the Ramsar Convention are likely to find their way here.

Hotel rooms float through the marshy lagoon.

Broad swaths of planted forest with linear edges define the forest polder. Fraxinus excelsior, Populus alba, and understory shrubs like Myrica gale define this zone.

Many of the houses will also be perched on the dikes which surround the watery zones, nestled in the reeds.

View from a roof terrace onto the lagoon where floating houses peacefully meander along:

Walking through the pine forest on the lake edge you stumble upon a recreational area and school: