47_Yara Abboud and Roxani Maragkoudaki: University Island

Yara Abboud and Roxani Maragkoudaki

Project shown is a submission for a competition: competition: University Island site: Poveglia, Venice University: Domus Academy, Milan

instagram: @fk_hippocampus


A competition called for the abandoned island of Poveglia in the Venetian Lagoon to be transformed into a university campus. Preserving the landscape of the island is one of the main strategies in the proposal. The dense vegetation is only removed within the rectangular boundary of the existing buildings to highlight its use as a more function specific area where all of the university’s main academic buildings are placed. To its east, a long entrance device projects through the vegetation and out of the land changing the existing approach to the island and defining the start of a network orthogonal paths that connect the spread of structures around the islands, referencing the definitive circulation of the canal system in the lagoon. One of the paths is designed as a promenade structure outside the periphery of the island providing a human scale understanding of the dynamics of the parts within.

The northern island is more student-oriented containing, the dormitories, which are designed as combined units in a building or spread single volume units elevated within the existing tree tops, and student facilities, including a rowing school with an extended audience deck on its roof and a rowing tank for interior practice. As a contemporary performing arts university, audience related activities and stages with different theater typologies are scattered around the islands. The largest, an auditorium whose mass gives it a nodal quality representative of both the start, from the island’s approach, and the end, with its view from the tip of the peripheral path. At the start of this path is an arena type theater for outdoor performances subtracted within the existing octagon walls. Smaller stages are scattered around the island and as part of the existing buildings, sculptural when out of use. In regarding the campus as a catalyst, the university as a playground of stages and structures with divergent geometries, can act as an attractive hub for enthusiasts of theatrics and can play a role in the development of the Venetian lagoon.