Colors on Water / GruppoFonArchitetti

© Daniele Domenicali

Architect: GruppoFonArchitetti
Location: ,
Customer: EstCapital Group
Building firm construction: Impresa Costruzioni Maltauro
Building area: 4,919 sqm
Year of completion: 2010
Photograph: Daniele Domenicali 


© Daniele Domenicali

Venice is an organic city, where the sea water goes in for six hours and goes out for six hours from the lagoon, which surrounds the city.. The saltwater is mixed with fresh water of the lagoon, creating a unique ecosystem, where, perhaps, against nature, man has built.

© Daniele Domenicali

In these green water, due to the life of the seabeds, everything is reflected, starting from the sky which provides colour variations throughout the day, seasons and weather conditions. Colours in motion never graspable.

© Daniele Domenicali

In these waters, besides the sky, Byzantium and Palladio’s architecture are reflected, but also the less known architecture of the twentieth century.

© Daniele Domenicali

The “Centrale Mazzoni”, former Central Station of Venice Santa Lucia railway station, designed in the thirties by the “futuristic” engineer and architect Angiolo Mazzoni, is one of these twentieth century buildings; it has a valuable formal and symbolic value in the heart of the ancient city.

© Daniele Domenicali

It arrived as a big empty abandoned box nowadays. The facades, carefully preserved by the restoration project, as evidence of the Venetian industrial revolution, hide the heart of the organic redevelopment project.

© Daniele Domenicali

The “rationalistic essence” hid a secret: each geometrical relationship was linked by golden ratio; a shell appeared connecting the dots. The organic Venice unveiled by rationality.

© Daniele Domenicali

This inheritance from history suggested to organize the distribution spaces as a series of sensory and chromatic perceptions, never the same, where natural light comes in and changes colour during the day and seasons. Each window has a different colour, as well as the parapets, through a combination which does not give references, keeping mind out of rationality, which improperly lives in the space of feelings.


The glasses stains the light, both natural and artificial, during the night, but they are also a mirror reflecting the surrounding context and they have the ability to mirror themselves on water, in the heart of the building, where often reigns a surreal silence, difficult to find in the tourist town by now.


Colour, glass, stones, bricks, wood, light, organic shapes make a single and whole system of reference for the project. This material is always present in the city, every corner is colour. Glass is a founding part of the industrial heritage of this city.


In the project, the use of the colour is related to the red brick and white Istrian stone, the materials of the city. More light in the sky than on earth: the project has brought the light into the building, where darkness reigned before.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Colors on Water / GruppoFonArchitetti" 07 Dec 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>
  • Did Gigazuri Daud

    interessante ;)

  • Lynette Lee

    interesting and clever use of colours and materials