IUAV Materials testing laboratory, Mestre, Venice (Italy)

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The new IUAV Material Testing Laboratory is built in a suburban area of Mestre, area that City of Venice has forecast creation of the new scientific-university hub for on the edge of the lagoon.

The project, by architect Francesco Venice, materialized a cubic shell covered with marble slabs Nembro Rosato of Verona; the use of hidden anchor system gets the idea that the coating is only a "box eternal "superimposed on the building itself. (Figure 1)

Externally is placed a roof garden, hidden from view by vertical walls, the only element that is detached from the main body and that, if we want, interrupts wisely the geometric purity. (Figure 2)

Despite of the structure is very simple, the complex is enhanced by the use of this particular stone in shades of white, pink and yellow. The idea of ​​a simple, elegant and light structure is given by the presence of a slight depression that insulates the building and "suspend" it between land and air.

If the appearance of the building suggests that inside the darkness and the shadow are dominant, actually the natural light can penetrate:

  • From the top, thanks to a large central skylight coated with zinc plates quartz, surrounded by a series of skylights minors.
  • From the bottom, thanks to the presence of a stained glass window at the base of the depression, which has just been said, that reflects the light coming from the outside in an absolutely innovative way . (Figure 3)

Concurrently with artificial lighting, the interior appears extraordinarily bright in spite of how, with a simple and quick view outside, an observer might expect. (Figure 4)

Structurally, the central body of the building is constituted by a series of baffles in reinforced concrete, in part buried in a waterproof basin, and a wagon bridge supported by pillars. Inside are contained classrooms, laboratory and office space for research, stairs and elevators.