Institute for Smart & Healthy Cities Venice Exhibit 2023

Venice Arsenale Development

  • Michael Catalfano

The Venice Arsenale is no stranger to change, constantly adapting to meet the new times and maintaining its symbol as a nautical powerhouse in the Adriatic Sea. Now Arsenale is in need of adapting to the current times and adapting for the future as Venice faces climate issues. The Arsenale still has the military presence of the past but is drastically cut down. It is now time for the Arsenale to adapt to the modern era and become a new beacon for nautical technology. For the Arsenale to become a new beacon I am proposing a new master plan consisting of three main targets. The first target is to repair and add to the degrading pathways that are along the northern tip of the Arsenale. This will be achieved through a new network of paths. These paths aim to create small islands of green space to help with emission regulation while also providing a new park space for Biennale which is across from the Arsenale. The second target of interest is addressing the abandoned dry docks. There are three docks currently in the Arsenale; one is being used by the Venice Mose System, the second just abandoned and the third is an art installation that is run down. I propose that at the second abandoned dry dock there should be a new building called the Venice Maritime Technology Showcase Center where expos and showcases of new nautical technology can be shown off. This sits as part of the adaptation that needs to happen within the Arsenale. The third target is to reuse an abandoned building in the Northeast corner of the Arsenale and create a new entrance into the Arsenale. The Arsenale suffers from being accessible only via one vaporetto stop near where the new Showcase Center will be. I am proposing this new Transportation Hub as a means to gather people into the Arsenale and provide more vaporetto access as well as more water taxi access.

Axon View of the overall Venice Arsenale showcasing the new buildings and terraforming that has happened.
Axon View: Highlighting the new construction projects in Arsenale. New Showcase Center, New Bridge to the Biennale and a New Transportation Hub.
Overall Site Plan showing off the major moves that had been taken to revitalize the Arsenale with new pathways and addition of the bridge, showcase center and new transportation hub.
Analysis Site plan of existing conditions and how they are affected by a sea level rise of 1 Meter or 3 Feet.
Isometric (Top) and Perspective Section (Bottom) of the New Venice Maritime Technology Showcase Center. Highlighting the network of paths to get to the new building. Highlighting the modern space frame arch structure that allows for a columnless open concept.
Isometric (Top) and Perspective Section (Bottom) of the New Transportation Hub for the Venice Arsenale. Highlighting the new access point and how an old abandoned building is reused.
Top Render: Venice Maritime Showcase Center and how it stands near the surrounding buildings and showing access and reuse of existing dry dock Bottom Render: Showing the New approach into the Transportation hub from the water. Also highlighting the new shading system to the building.