Institute for Smart & Healthy Cities Venice Exhibit 2023

Tronchetto C Master Planning

  • Gabriella Bellino & Jacqueline Thornton

Today, the needs of the Tronchetto site are exceedingly different from the time of their original design and as a result, the site today is highly underutilized.  Originally designated as a parking lot for the adjacent cruise terminal, the parking spots now are vacant and negatively impact the environment through hardscape runoff, increased heat island effect, and inefficient land use.  The site's lack of a significant purpose in a post-pandemic world has no draw for visitors to Venice and has poor connections to the city centre.

Repurposing this site by implementing modern sustainable technology and efficient programming will negate environmental impacts due to its current condition.  Implementing these meaningful programmatic elements will add appeal to the site, making the area a point of interest for visitors and residents of the city. 

The master plan divides the site into four zones, each with elements that increase transport efficiency, provide connections to the rest of the city, and create spaces that attract visitors and residents and educate and immerse them in Venetian culture.  A green network weaves through all zones of the site providing access to public parks and green piazzas, decreasing the runoff caused by the existing hardscape in the area.

Our master plan will relieve Venice from its oppressive density and make room for another iconic location in the city.  Sustainable technologies like photovoltaic panels and retention ponds will be implemented to generate clean renewable energy and work to decrease negative environmental impacts.

Tronchetto C overview showing existing and proposed buildings, the the extensive green network, and the modified urban circulation network.
The extensive green network on the tronchetto site creating green spaces adjacent to all buildings on site, reducing runoff and heat island effect, and promoting biodiversity.
The main corridor of the pedestrian circulation network intersects each zone of the tronchetto providing access for all visitors while smaller branches provide direct routes for residents of the area.
The new vehicular circulation network exists in addition to the existing road network ,and interacts with the transportation hub at the entrance to the site. This hub works to decrease reliance on personal transport methods and allows access to all areas of the tronchetto when needed.
Tronchetto C is broken into four smaller zones, each with a distinct programmatic use. Zone One focuses on transportation, Zone Two focuses on housing, Zone Three repurposes existing buildings to provide cultural experiences, and Zone Four hosts an exhibition space focused on regional history.
An aerial view of the Tronchetto site with Mestre in the background

Transport Hub & Housing Development

  • Gabriella Bellino

At the entrance of the Tronchetto sites sits the newly designed transport hub, with connections to Mestre on the mainland and the historical centre of the city.  The transport hub brings all methods of transportation under one roof and houses short-term parking, a drop-off zone for visitors arriving via bus, and the people mover which provides a connection between the Tronchetto and the historical areas of Venice.  The roof pattern of the hub draws inspiration from the islands of Venice and hosts an array of photovoltaic panels for energy collection. 

Just beyond the transportation hub is the housing development.  This development consists of 17 unique buildings designed to provide housing geared towards university students and local artisans.  On the lower levels, there are shops and studio spaces designed for resident use, and the upper levels host one and two-bedroom apartments.  Each building is adjacent to a park or piazza space, and each apartment has a balcony overlooking one of these exterior green spaces.  The central atriums of each building are home to gardens allowing access to green space in every season.  Each building has solar panels on its roof to collect energy, and the facades use thermal massing and high-efficiency glazing to minimize the amount of heating and cooling needed.

Rendering of the transport hub located at the entrance of the Tronchetto sites
site plan showing the transportation hub and modified transit networks.
A birds eye view of the housing zone, showing the expansive green spaces and building adjacencies.
The site plan of the housing zone showing the relationships between the apartment buildings and green network as well as a typical apartment building floor plan.
Exterior rendering looking at the housing development through the green spaces.
Diagram showing the housing facades, apartment balconies, and chosen exterior materials.
Interior rendering showing the garden space located in the centre atrium of each apartment building.

Zone 4

  • Jacqueline Thornton

At the very end of the port, is a museum exhibit that teaches about Venice’s cultural history and its surroundings with multiple gallery spaces and a library. It also includes a restaurant with balcony space and a gift shop for visitors on the ground level. Visitors can comfortably navigate the site as the building utilizes cantilevering forms so that water can move and drain easier.  The building juxtaposes Venice while creating a home for itself within the culture. Its clean and sleek look contrasts Italy’s intricate ornamentation but takes advantage of the vast volumes and spatial awareness of the churches and renovated structures. The large protruding volumes direct visitors to a specific view that has been appointed important to the museum. The museum also includes a plaza space that is attached to the bridge connecting to Tronchetto B.  The plaza space provides another gathering space close to the water while also serving as a Vaporetto stop.

Night Perspective: At the end of Tronchetto C, sits a museum exhibit composed of stacked cantilevered forms.
At the end of Tronchetto C, visitors pass through an Artisan market and a newly renovated ferry terminal that is now a multipurpose space composed of the “Venice Experience.” Visitors can participate in wine tastings, glass blowing, and shopping. Additionally, museum glass boxes are attached to the terminal that sit in the water that display historical boats of Venice as well as two pedestrian access bridges that connect on either side of Tronchetto C.
Bird's Eye Perspective: This aerial view showcases the bridge attachments to Tronchetto B and the mainland. Water circulation is kept consistent so boats and gondolas are able to pass through under the bridges.
This view is on the pedestrian access bridge connecting to Tronchetto B. The view faces north towards the beginning of the port. Within the view, floating glass boxes are seen in the distance which are attached to the repurposed ferry terminal.
Top Section: Cuts through the 2nd floor space and 3rd floor gallery. Bottom Section: Cuts through 2nd floor restaurant/connection space, and top of 3rd floor gallery.
Each gallery has a focused view which determines what becomes discussed and displayed in each gallery wing. This gallery faces the city of Venice and thus has work that will reflect the city and its cultural history.
The building contrasts with typical Venetian architecture with its minimalism, so a screen facade inspired from Venetian arches brings back the ornamental value.