Beyond the logic of turistic exploitation: our vision to design Casa Flora in Venice

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Hotel Flora accepted the risky challenge of developing a visionary concept that goes beyond the logic of turistic exploitation of the city of Venice. This tired logic seems to be the only possible scenario for the city today: a sort of automatic-pilot trajectory that leaves no space of experimentation in the name of an old idea of preservation and the search of maximum profit.

Our project wil be profundly experimental, ustable, polemical and optimistic.

It will speculate on tourism not so much as an isolated phenomenon, but in close connection to this wonderful and difficult context, its potentialities and fragilities, and with the wide spectrum of less known aspects and peculiarities that describe the uniqueness of contemporary venetian life. We will look at Venice without the filter of the nostalgic lenses that transformed it into a flat and consumed image. We will try to understand its present, and how its medieval, renaissance, baroque and modern structures can accommodate the most radical expressions of contemporary metropolitan life. Through a little, specific, domestic project we will contribute to rewrite its manifesto.

We will work on everyday rituals and on the precious act of living together. We will explore the relations between intimate and shared spaces, between work and leisure, between the events of public life and the performative potential of a house. We will try to understand the grammar of the city in its built structure (what is a piano nobile? What is a salone passante? A cavana? An altana? A trifora? A terrazzo?) but also the new narrations offered by events such as the Biennales of Art and Architecture, and the new populations that inhabit the city with un unprecedent intensity and with new demands and desires.

window elem biennale

But we will also enlarge our vision in order to consider the most enlightening expressions of italian creativity, starting from the rupture that in the 60s happened with the seemingly linear and inexorable trajectory of modern architecture. It produced the heroic experience of radical design, that challenge the very idea of production and consumption mechanisms with a revolutionary refoundation of our intellectual role. We will work in close collaboration with our manufacturers – highly qualified companies that will support our work with their competences and skills – but our vision will have to go beyond the single furniture object. We will produce study models, mockups and 1:1 strategies of adaptation to the space that we will inhabit during the workshop, simulating some of the possibilities for its future life. We will explore the potentials of representation outside of its commercial conventions.

I believe – after all – that living in Venice, even if for a limited period of time, will be in itself a mind-changing experience, if we are ready to abandon some of the persistent cliches that imprison this city and innocently immerse ourselves in its waters.

Matteo Ghidoni, Architect & Project Leader