2021 CAT A - The Operating Venetian Lagoon: The Agency of Barene
“The Operating Venetian Lagoon: The Agency of Barene” addresses the hydromorphological sufferance of the Venetian Lagoon (Veneto, Italy), the state of neglect of its secondary islands, and the over-engineered flood defence as crucial issues. It reveals the need for redefining the future role of the entire lagoon, necessarily active, restored and resiliently sustaining its surrounding territory. To achieve this, the main strategy applied is to reinforce the barene landscape, the brackish marshlands, through nature-based solutions and building-with-nature design principles.
The research-by-design seeks to mitigate the threats of relative sea-level rise by providing a nature-based flood defence, recreate barene habitat for ecosystem restoration, invest in alternative slow-tourism experiences, and enrich local economical vibrancy. The project wishes to consolidate and enhance the cultural image of the Venetian Lagoon: its diffuse sense of horizontality, reflection and visibility conveyed by the unceasing lagoon water surface.
The central basin of the Venetian Lagoon has been chosen as a case-study site, being the most hydro-morphologically damaged area inside the lagoon. After having researched on how natural forces influence this portion of the lagoon, different combinations of underwater and above-water structures have been proposed aiming to capture suspended sediments and promote accretion. In the most compromised cases, the structures are partially supported by initial dredges, transforming the product of the management of the canals from waste into a resource. The existing islands of the central lagoon are in part connected with the proposed structures, becoming viewpoints from which the growth and the transformation of this new landscape can be experienced. In the end, the intertwined system of proposed barene and existing islands, once grown sufficiently and matured, would produce a beneficial effect over the hydro-morphological, ecological, and cultural surroundings.
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