main _ 24 7 _ mixed use building in venice


Psychedelic mixed use building in Venice


AUTHOR: Dan Ricciardi
PLACE: Venice, Italy
YEAR: 2021
STATUS: Unbuilt
INSTAGRAM: @irricciardi


“24/7” is a mixed use building located in Venice, aiming to give to the city what it never dared to ask: fresh air. A cynical yet psychedelic building made through a direct five steps approach.


This mixed use building hosts an articulated program of art-related production and display, such as exhibition and cultural areas, rentable studios, office spaces, a bookshop, both an outdoor and an indoor cinema, plus a cutting-edge belvedere restaurant, everything in the backyard of Biennale Giardini.

Rather than a poetic interpretation of Venetian heritage made of moresque and flamboyant facades, Scarpa’s detailing mastery and the very Italian notion of context, “24/7” is cynically built via a dry, iterative process to guarantee the most effective output and the less amount of bullshit. Thanks to this non-rhetorical approach, Venice context features that really matter come out: diversification, water relationship, space for events.

MIKADO FACTOR. The project needs to reconcile structure and space, to maximize the real estate of the usable area: structure becomes paradoxically huge yet invisible, since it is embedded in the space itself. Literally, living the beam. Through the Mikado factor, cores and horizontal circulation become a stacked, piled up set of balanced sticks holding together the whole slab complex, almost completely freed from pillars.

PROGRAMMATIC BOX. The given brief is then quantified in square meters and encrusted around the structural bones, following the best solutions to gather natural light and quietness, views and urban exposition in relation to the program requirements. Being an always open mixed use building, productive areas are also clearly divided from the private ones. This step is, again, maximization driven: even the vertical surface on the back opaque facade becomes program through an outdoor cinema for night projections.

URBAN BIOMES. Each room features its own ensemble of materials, spatial features and narration to create a jam session of heterogeneous biomes interacting with each other, as a reflection of Venice faceted nature.

SHAPEOMATIC. All of this is just processed through one of the infinite possible shapes achievable, in this case a simple extrusion of bidimensional-concave curves and a tridimensional concave roof slab to achieve an urban landmark pitch. The negative shape is therefore performing a boolean operation/extrusion of the raw programmatic box, not differently from what a good ol’ pastamatic would do.

CONSTRAINTS = FEATURES. Venice is well known to be struggling with the “acqua alta” (high water) phenomena which leads to systematic floods and damages. A floating building as a response, not only creates a safe and healthy environment, but it also makes room for a virtual, covered and porous ground floor for public events and performances. Moreover, in the worst “acqua alta” scenario – which happened just after the project conclusion in 2018 – the outdoor projection wall becomes the ultimate nautical drive-in cinema.

Culling a floor to raise the building gives the opportunity to exploit the rooftop as well as a programmatic opportunity with non-intensive architectural intervention. Just a plain green space with a checkerboard, hardscape patch is provided, surrounded by low vegetation and an ovoid perimetral safety orange plastic fence is given.

Before being a Koolhaasian reference, the mixed use building site net is the only, real stylistic element taken from the Veneto suburban areas just outside the historical city centres as a provocative and ironic context belonging statement.


Dan Ricciardi holds a master’s degree in architecture in both Politecnico of Milano and Politecnico of Torino, after accomplishing Alta Scuola Politecnica programme.

He currently works as an architect at JDSA, as artist and self-proclaimed life stylist. His personal works investigate several realms ranging from architecture, contemporary art, exhibition design, curatorship, to design and fashion.


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