Architecture, territory, and society: Two projects for the Veneto


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Virginia Tech


An architectural territory is an area of human settlement that exhibits consistent architectural conditions or elements. In this thesis, three primary aspects of territory are considered: massing patterns, circulation networks, and typological structure.

Many European architects work to extend, delimit, and join territories through their architectural interventions. In this way buildings function both as objects in themselves and as linking or delimiting parts in an urban whole.

This thesis presents an American's understanding of a typically European approach, gained during a year of study at the Accademia di architettura in Mendrisio, Switzerland. Combining observations of Accademia pedagogy with the presentation of two projects undertaken there, it offers a definition of territory and two territorial discourses. In the first project, located in Padua, the intent is to strengthen the definition of two adjacent territories by means of an interstitial housing and office complex. In the second the territory of a service island at the edge of Venice becomes the primary influence for the form of a rock venue and contemporary cultural center.

The social and political territories in a city, powerful forces for architecture, are also discussed in the context of Padua. An aging and shrinking population may not need or want a building typology that interests elite political and economic actors.



Padua, Mendrisio, housing, offices, music venues, Venice, territory