In 2014, thousands of Venetian citizens supported the bottom-up initiative organised to win the public auction for a 99 years lease on the surface of Poveglia island. This incredible civic engagement - in an era of political disillusionment and loss of ideological commitment - can help to understand the real necessity of reclaiming this forgotten piece of the city.

The competition brief asked to design a university campus. However, could such a vague functional program bring a real urban vitality to such a specific site?


In post-Fordist economies, universities have become more and more productive entities rather than vibrant public arenas. The violent deindustrialisation of Western-Countries contributed transforming university campus in heterotopic enclaves bonded to a market-driven chain of knowledge, technological production and patents.  The project proposes to reverse this process of segregation by adding complementary activities which would turn the campus into a real city. Within this context, architecture is considered as a tool that frames common spaces and that can still inspire a sense of belonging.