Venice: Behind the mask, an architectural study

Kenny, Hannah Ellen (2006) Venice: Behind the mask, an architectural study. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This study will illustrate and explore the conservation policies and procedures adopted by the authorities in Venice and investigate the legalities of restoration practice employed by the state. As well as this, Venice's struggle for a new sense of identity is a premise for this study. The role of modern architecture in Venice and the type of design that could find a sympathetic home here is explored. Essentially, the question of the future of the architectural fabric of Venice, both prospective development and the conservation of what already exists, is the theme of this work. Chapter one outlines the designs for the Biennale competition of 1991, Una Porta per Venezia and uses it as an opportunity to highlight the particular difficulties for the architect in creating an architecture for Venice. Issues such as the essential tension between the traditional and the modern, and the relationship between a building and its site are explored in this chapter. An assessment of the competition entries, and specifically the winning design by Dixon Jones, is used as an attempt to establish the preferences and priorities of the Biennale panel, many of which are directly responsible for any future development of the built environment in Venice. Chapter two seeks to set the Dixon Jones project in its wider context and underlines the ambiguities and inconsistencies in which new development in Venice is managed. It attempts to determine possible motivations behind the inclusion of certain designs into the historic fabric and the omission of others. In Illustrating recent admissions to the built environment, Chapter two explores the theory that modern architecture in Venice has been a slave to traditional typologies and that this has impeded the formulation of an appropriately modern architectural language for Venice. Chapter three outlines and examines restoration practice in Venice. It proposes that the interventions have, as a whole, been destructive and investigates where the system of management and the laws that govern conservation in Venice are inadequate. Specific instances of the harsh restoration techniques employed by the state are illustrated and examples of conservation projects carried out by international agencies, as an alternative to those of the Venetian authorities, are also outlined. This chapter argues that the working methods of the state and those of the international funding bodies represent two different philosophies, and essentially, distinct interpretations of the future of Venice. It suggests the city council in Venice perceives the city's future as transformation and the International funding bodies as conservation.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: John Richards
Keywords: Architecture
Date of Award: 2006
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2006-71477
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 May 2019 14:34
Last Modified: 10 May 2019 14:34
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/71477

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