On November 4, 1966, an abnormal occurrence of circumstances caused the Venetian lagoon to rise up to a height of 194 cm above average sea level. Suddenly the entire world realized the fragility of the city on the water, as the flood left thousands of residents without homes and services.
Since then, while a longly debated public effort to build a system of dikes for the lagoon started to be developed (and after more than 50 years not yet finished..), private owners were tackling the very real issue of “defending from high water” their own place by constructing a waterproof reinforced concrete shell inside the existing buildings walls.
In the island of Burano, in the northern Lagoon, such emergency was particularly evident because of its traditional urban reality, made of a dense assembling of extremely small single family houses, in which the ground floor was the natural living space of the unit, often in relation to the canal or the campo.
This intervention, commissioned as an intimate refuge for a couple living abroad, deliberately left visible the materiality of the water protection shell, being shaped and used as a spatial device in itself.
While barely unchanged from the outside, yet the interiors of the yellow house has been completely rethought; each of the 3 floors, measuring 3,5 by 5 meters, is designed as part of a vertical route with constantly changing materials, atmospheres and views.
The generous dining table on ground floor suggests a constant use of the kitchen, made of a single block of carrara white marble, while all the furnitures find their place under the concrete stairs.
On the first floor the traditional venetian colored pastellone floor and the smoothness of the stucco walls becomes the frame for the custom made sofa.
So a floating stairs brings you to the wooden box of the bedroom, giving access to the most private area of the house, on top of which the hidden library allows a view to the roofs of the island, and to the distant Venice.