Guidecca Opera House



This project is reimagined through an architectural competition for a new open-air opera house and community workshops on the Island of Guidecca in Venice. 

Venice, as a lived-in city, is dying. A population which peaked at 164,000 in 1931 is now hovering at around 60,000. So what can be done to stop the slow death of Venice? Jobs have disappeared to the mainland and tourists now outnumber residents. Venice's cultural identity is at risk of dissolving if Venice inevitably becomes a theme park. It is an undeniable fact that a solution needs to work with the increasing tourism. This projects proposal aims to revive commercial and manufacturing industry on the island related to the arts and craftsmanship.

The building sites itself in a derelict cement factory. Giudecca was historically an area of large palaces with gardens, the island became an industrial area in the early 20th century with shipyards and factories, in addition to a film studio. Much of the industry went into decline after World War II. In this proposal fragments of Guidecca’s industrial past manifest themselves in the building; brick chimneys, walls and details have been given new uses and functions. Programmatically, the site will be occupied by a number of users that vary between day and night. The Opera house will boost the micro economy of the island through tourism. The workshops will support the construction of the opera house and facilitate the redevelopment of manufacturing industry on the island. Programmes to develop the understanding of digital and analogue manufacturing processes to evolve local skills by adopting techniques from the hand-made to the digitally crafted.The building’s use supports both commercial industry and tourism related to the arts and craftsmanship so fundamental to the identity of Venice.


LOCATION | Guidecca, Venice.

PROGRAMME | Opera House/Community Workshops.