LOCATION Venice, Italy
YEAR 1985
THEME Architecture
STATUS Competition
DESIGNERS Antonio Monestiroli
TEAM  Cecilia Bolognesi, Lorenzo Clerici, Alba Gallizia, Antonio Paolucci, Giacomo Tutucci
structures Davide Castiglioni

The theme of the bridge in general contains a strong character of necessity that is always prominently represented in the history of its construction. The tendency to give particular importance to the technical aspect of construction is a consequence of this desire for representation and raises the question of whether or not it is possible to speak of “bridge architecture.” This was the motive for our participation in the competition: to define with respect to this theme the relationship between architecture and construction or rather between technical and architectural forms. The construction of the bridge in Venice is somehow to be refounded, trying to define again the characters of this building both with respect to itself and with respect to the monumental place where it is to be built.

We have taken the theme of intersection as a typological matrix that can lead to an architectural definition of the building against which to find the most appropriate building system. Type definition therefore as the first act of the project. ‘The problem of construction, which immediately follows, requires the choice of a construction system capable of enhancing the identified typological characters. The arch, which seems to be the proper form of the bridge, was discarded because it is not congruent with the choice of distinguishing the three parts: of the ascent, the goal and the descent. For the same reason, the rectilinear beam resting on the banks was discarded. The most appropriate structure in our case seems to be a structure consisting of two brackets anchored to the banks that contain the ascents and cantilever out to the center of the channel where they support a large terrace that in turn has two strong cantilevers in the orthogonal direction. The triangular shape of the large brackets coincides with static needs and formal characters identified for the definition of the bridge. The ascent and descent are identified by the intrados of the men-soles, the entrances to the bridge are defined by the tall heads anchored to the ground, and the upper profile of the bridge is horizontal and builds the channel-front whose centrality is accentuated by the position of the terrace. The technical form in this case becomes an evocative form of the identity of the artifact. Enriched with meaning, the technical form becomes architectural form. This was the goal of our work. On the way up and down the visual relationship with the city changes several times: at the entrance a staircase leads to a first landing where two large openings establish two viewpoints, then a ramp that gradually emerges from the banks leads to the central terrace that is the highest point of the building: the large metal terrace suspended in the middle of the canal. The two corbels are constructed of reinforced concrete covered with marble, and the terraces are made of iron painted black. The stairs and ramps are covered with stone slabs. The terrace floor is made of metal grating that is transparent to light. This will increase the sense of lightness of the deck at the central point. The bridge should be built on the same site as the old Austrians’ bridge. His relationship with Venice? One of great admiration.


Massimo Ferrari (edit by) Antonio Monestiroli Opere, progetti e studi di architettura Electa Milan 2001

Francesco Moschini (edit by) Antonio Monestiroli Progetti 1967-1987 Edizioni Kappa Rome 1988