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A Shapeless Hospital, A Floating Theatre and an Island with a Hill: the invisible architecture of Venice

Psarra, S; (2012) A Shapeless Hospital, A Floating Theatre and an Island with a Hill: the invisible architecture of Venice. In: Greene, M and Reyes, J and Castro, A, (eds.) Proceedings: Eighth International Space Syntax Symposium. (pp. K016-K016). Space Syntax Symposium: Santiago de Chile, Chile. Green open access

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Abstract

Architecture is often charged with narrative content; it foregrounds certain elements and underplays others; it constructs space, time and sequence; it facilitates the exploration of identity according to the specificity of the context in which it is embedded. But what is interesting in architecture is how these mechanisms are used not to tell stories, but to engage the imagination and arrive at a creative formation. This paper looks at two unrealised projects in Venice (Alvise Cornaro’s proposition for the Bacino San Marco, 1560, and Le Corbusier and Jullian’s Venice Hospital, 1964) and the urban morphology of the city. It identifies two main questions: (1) How does the urban morphology of Venice influence the configuration of the two works? (2) What contribution can the analytic discipline of space syntax make to architecture and design in addition to evaluation how spaces function for social purposes? The paper argues that the spatial structure of Venice influences the two projects based on a foreground network of canals that is independent but also intersects with a foreground network of streets and squares. The dual function of squares to ‘bridge’ between the two networks together with their strong architectural qualities makes them recognisable as focal points - in which one is locally situated - and as points which one traverses in through-routes from origins to destinations. The study shows that space syntax can inform abstract comparative knowledge of configurational possibility used in architecture and design in which configuration can be abstracted from one spatio-temporal system and transformed into a new reality.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: A Shapeless Hospital, A Floating Theatre and an Island with a Hill: the invisible architecture of Venice
Event: International Space Syntax Symposium VIII
Location: Santiago, Chile
Dates: 03 January 2012 - 06 January 2012
ISBN-13: 978-956-345-862-6
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://sss8.cl/proceedings.html
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett School of Architecture
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1369116
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