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Andrew Kuchta - New space in Venice

17 of November '21
Technical data
Type: Second degree thesis.
Year of defense: 2021
Name: "Concept for the development of post-industrial areas on Santa Marta in Venice".
Author: Andrzej Kuchta

Dr. hab. Patrycja Haupt, prof. PK


prof. dr. hab. Magdalena Jagiełło - Kowalczyk

"Concept for the development of post-industrial areas on Santa Marta in Venice" is the topic of the second degree thesis of Andrzej Kuchta, a graduate of the Architecture Department at the Cracow University of Technology. The concept presented by him is to answer the problems faced by Venetians.

Venice's problems

Venice is a city that needs no introduction. The capital of the Veneto region is one of the most visited cities in Europe. It has made its mark on the culture with its iconic carnival and gondolas cruising the narrow canals. The influx of tourists(overtourism) coming to Venice in addition to lucrative revenue has led to many negative changes. In addition to the main thoroughfares through which clouds of visitors pass, there are also places in need of intervention. Santa Marta, for which Andrew Kuchta developed the concepts, is just such an example.

analysis of the existing state

© Andrzej Kuchta

A year before defending my second degree thesis as part of a coursework project and collaboration with foreign universities, we decided to remotely explore Venice and address some intervention. After much analysis, I chose a plot of land located in a strategic location with a specific character that needed revitalization. After some time, I found that by dealing with this topic as part of my thesis, I would have the opportunity to gain lessons on how to design in a historical context," said the author, explaining how the idea for the thesis topic was born.

starting with research

Looking for answers to Venice's problems, Andrzej Kuchta decided to prepare a survey aimed at several groups: primarily the local population, but also tourists (including tourists from Poland). The survey was available in three languages: Italian, Polish and English. The questions concerned the impact of tourism on Venice, the introduction of new architectural accents to old buildings, the possibility of using public infrastructure, restrictions for people with disabilities or the amount of green space in the city.

functional diagram of the premise developed after the survey

© Andrzej Kuchta

Among the most important problems is the lack of a place where local residents could relax, play sports, and be surrounded by greenery, while creating a space for everyone, including people with disabilities. An important point for almost all respondents would be the need for new development to blend into the Venice landscape. This does not mean not introducing modern architecture into the urban structure, but trying to blend it into the historic fabric. The question of introducing greenery into the structure of Venice is similar.

analysis of the existing state taking into account the social, acoustic study and the impact on the surroundings

© Andrzej Kuchta

The basic issue is whether Venice will become an open-air museum. This could happen if driving tourism is the sole priority," Andrew Kuchta points out as the main conclusion of his work.

Respondents confirmed the need to create a space close to the needs of the residents - one that would fit into the surrounding environment, while improving functionality. The area required new development with the introduction of green areas, the creation of an urban interior that would allow for recreation, and at the same time allow for the organization of mass events.

creation of an urban planning concept

Conducting a study allowed assessing the priorities needed to prepare a concept. Faced with design problems in the space, Andrzej Kuchta developed three conceptual variants: a walking ramp without additional development, full development and the last one, which assumes leaving a larger green area and less intensive development fabric.

comparison of the existing state with the concept

© Andrzej Kuchta

The chosen urban design concept was primarily intended to ensure that the needs of the residents are realized first. The project assumes the development of post-industrial buildings, subject to revitalization or redevelopment. It introduces plantings that must be adapted to the difficult soil and water conditions. Green areas account for forty percent of the quarter.

visualization of the main variant

© Andrzej Kuchta

The proposed space of the quarter introduced restaurant pavilions, sports infrastructure, playgrounds and thematic points dedicated to the elderly. The designed quarters also included new residential space, office space, public buildings and educational and museum buildings. Some of these would be built in post-industrial facilities. Also important is the construction of an amphitheater, providing a center for hosting events and activities, and the construction of a pedestrian bridge, allowing for seamless movement.

Visualization of the concept

© Andrzej Kuchta


Andrzej Kuchta's thesis is an attempt to approach the reorganization of urban space, made difficult primarily by the iconic nature and problems associated with tourist traffic. The image of life in cities like Venice is often far from nostalgic postcard views. Residents face problems of alienation in their own city. Creating new communal spaces in degraded areas is the answer to these problems.

Wiktor Bochenek

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