The project is a 5.000 square meters (54,000 sq ft) medical facility that houses multiple functions related to the latest scientific and medical advances in eye transplant and research: a surgical facility, stem cell research laboratories, eye treatment center, administrative offices as well as the EIDON Foundation educational facility, which includes a 450-seat auditorium.
The building is highly visible from the roadway and traffic roundabout. The site is a flat, triangular-shaped 2.8 hectare site located near the entrance to a new regional hospital, also designed by Ambasz, a local railroad, and major roadway.
The triangular-shaped building is defined by two 12 meter high walls, shaped as trapezoidal figure, clad in pre-stained (prepatinato) copper set at right angles to each other. The two extreme points of the orthogonal walls seem about to touch each other.
First floor plan. Click to see a larger version of all plans.
In the triangular space created by these wall, a volume is defined by a series of landscaped terraces at each floor level make up one side and on the opposite side, the building rises as a series of steps that lead to a flat planted roof garden.
These steps make the entire roof an outdoor amphitheater.
A parabolic opening forms the main entrance through this stepped façade. Administrative, research, and surgical functions are located on the three floors above ground while a ground level circular courtyard provides light to the educational spaces located below ground. A two-story high wall of glass bisects the courtyard making a grand lobby space. A 450-seat auditorium is located off this lobby. The EIDON-Center for Education occupies the spaces surrounding the courtyard for classrooms. Its courtyard is planted with fragrant flowering trees.
All of the spaces receive direct natural sunlight from the large walls of glass places at a distance from the edge of the terraces. The combination of the plantings and deep overhangs minimize the impact of heat loads by blocking sunlight during the middle of the days. Spaces away from the terraces such as treatment rooms and restrooms receive additional light from clerestory windows. Each riser of the steps leading up the roof has glass blocks installed into them allowing light to penetrate the rooms below.
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. The garage connects at the lowest level to the facility through a corridor towards the auditorium. All mechanical, air handling equipment and medical gases are located off the parking garage and under the circular drop off. The surface of the driveway here is grilled to allow for ventilation from the spaces below.
Project details and credits:
Project name: Eye Bank of Veneto a.k.a. Banca dell’Occhio
Location: Mestre-Venice, Italy
Site Characteristics: Flat, triangular-shaped site located near the entrance to a new hospital, a local railroad, and major roadway.
Program: Research laboratories, treatment center, eye transplant facility, offices and EIDON Foundation educational facility
Construction Systems: Cast concrete frame, glass curtain wall, copper cladding, roof-top planting
Client: Regione Veneto
Cost: Euros 26,000,000
Project Architect: Emilio Ambasz, Hon. FAIA
Architect of Record: Studio Altieri-Alberto Altieri
Collaborators: Lucas Fornari, Luca Cerutti, Giulio Altieri, Valentina Altieri, Alessandro Melotto, Francesco Viero, Chiara Urso, Giulia Andreotti, Peter Norris, and Bradley Whitermore
Photographer: Enrico Cano http://www.enricocano.com