Andrea Cabianca - Università IUAV di Venezia
Thomas Bend - Manchester Metropolitan University
Bruno Herrera Gonzalez - Universidad de Granada
The Exhibition Gateway project commenced with the exploration of possibilities for public access to the eastern perimeter of the Arsenale site and the development of new urban functions within. Through the establishment of new connections with the existing street system of Venice, and the construction of a new swing bridge to complete the circuit of the principal basin, a degree of permeability was envisaged across the area. The implication of this strategy however was that the quayside would no longer be exclusively available to the Venice Biennale each year, and that the Arsenale exhibition site would be divided into two distinct areas. The project was therefore developed to consider architectural possibilities for the connection of these sections whilst providing the necessary segregation of ticket holders and the general public.
The proposed solution is a new structure to connect the two exhibition areas at a raised level whilst permitting public permeability beneath in a traditional solution encountered across the city. Whilst the rooftop terrace provides a simple and open connective route, the lower level is comprised of a number of volumes to accommodate public programmes that service and suggest functions for both the quayside and proposed exhibition gardens to the rear. The new structure also provides a definition to these external spaces and continues into the existing internal exhibition spaces of the Biennale, addressing the transition between the ground and raised levels without compromising the ecisting volumes of the historic structures.