Life in Ruins
Cultural Infrastructure for the Venice Lagoon
The Island of Poveglia, in the Venice Lagoon, has been abandoned for over fifty years. After a failed attempt from the Italian government to sell it to private investors, a competition was set out to test the potential of the island as a new university campus. The competition called for the preservation of the existing buildings and ruins and for the design of new constructions in order to generate a self-sustaining entity. Our emphasis was placed on the public nature of the project, which should operate as a cultural infrastructure and a public park for all the inhabitants of the lagoon and the region. With that in mind, our project takes the existing ruined condition of the island as an implicit project and sets in motion a series of strategies to turn it into an explicit project and a total environment.