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 Banca dell'Occhio
Architect: Emilio Ambasz & Associates

At Mestre, near Venice, a hospital complex shows the integration of architecture and the vegetal world.

Specialized medical centre related to the latest scientific and medical advances in eye transplant and research, the Eye Bank is conceived to be integrated in a triangular - shaped building. On this 2,8 hectare land, situated next to the entrance of a new regional hospital designed by the same architect, the building is completed by two 12 m high symmetric walls shaped as a trapezoidal figure. Clad in pre-stained copper they defined a huge interior volume. The two extreme points of the orthogonal walls seem about to touch each other. In the triangular space created by these walls a volume is defined by a series of landscaped terraces at each floor level like series of steps leading to a flat planted roof garden. These steps make the entire roof an outdoor amphitheatre. The combination of plantations and deep overhangs minimizes the impact of heat loads by blocking sunlight during the middle of the days. Nevertheless all the spaces receive direct natural sunlight. Each riser of the steps leading up to the roof has glass blocks installed into them allowing light to penetrate the rooms of the lowest level.

A below grade parking garage eliminates all visible cars on the site to ensure a continuous green surface around and onto the building’s roof. Emilio Ambasz’s research sees in this integration of architecture and nature the emblem of the contemporary needs. Architecture, seen as a relation between void and fullness, expresses itself through a balanced relation between “built” and gardens, between the buildings and the open spaces. The construction process of some historical cities shows this relation; Emilio Ambasz claims the necessity to generalize such a procedure linking nature and architecture in a strategic vision.



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