Isabel Riese

Isabel Riese


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A Music Academy in Venice

Venice is an ideal place for study and performance of music. City life is combined with almost rural silence. The Conservatoire Benedetto Marcello is the only music academy in Venice and an institute dedicated to modern music is still missing. The Venetian Luigi Nono is a contemporary musician who contributed to modern music with his experimental improvisations and audio tape music. The narrow and heterogeneous building site is located in western Venice in Sestiere Dorsoduro. Additional to the academy, access to a public garden has to be provided.

The main element of the design is an elongated structure stretching across the entire building site like a backbone. It accommodates the students´rehearsal rooms and the common refectory. Each part of the academy as auditorium, students´ accommodations and administration appear in separate structures. They are arranged relating to the main structure according to their function and create atmospheric spaces reminding of De Chirico´s Italian squares. The public space is a cobbled square enclosed by walls. The material used is the local Venetian stone Trachite Euganea. For the internal access of the academy a roof promenade is provided on the highest level of the building.

Special attention was paid to the integration with the historic neighbourhood and the special
demands of construction in Venice. The façade material brick is common in Venice and integrates the academy into the local context. The saddleback roof is likewise a reference to traditional construction. At the same time these references in material and construction intensify the intended alienation effect provoked by the extreme proportions of the design.

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