The Death, the Vine and the Soil

MArch, Year 4, 

Bartlett School of Architecture

Tutors: Jonathan Hill and Elizabeth Dow

The project is a proposal to introduce a human composting facility and biodynamic winery in the abandoned island of Poveglia in the Venetian Lagoon. Poised between terroir, phenomenological and Gothic architecture, the architecture is raising from the ground, where it will return in the fullness of time.

Poveglia is also called the Island of Death, it used to serve as quarantine station for those suffering the plague and half of its terrain is believed to be constituted by human remains. By transplanting the local Dorona vines into the island, the process of composting will allow the deceased body to turn into a bunch of soil, reused as fertiliser for the vineyard.

The winery is housed inside a Cathedral, performing both practical and spiritual functions. The Cathedral construction strategy follows the notion of burial and transformation, suggesting a continuous cycle where materials that have gone through anaerobic decomposition are reused for aerobic construction and vice versa.

Ultimately, the course wants to be a representation of the transmutation of Venice, against it’s suppositional impending death.