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Hannah Lees


With less people taking on the trade skills of Gondola Building or becoming Gondoliers, there is a need for these skills to be continued on before they disappear altogether. The Gondolier Hub is treated as a place for individuals to learn new skills for the Venetian locals. For visitors it is a place for everyone to experience all aspects of these trades in the one location.

Located alongside Venice’s Arsenale, the buildings sit on top of an existing canal as if it were floating down the canal, mirroring a typical Venetian Gondola. The Gondolier Hub uses existing bridges as main access points to the site. The site is broken up into 4 buildings each with its own purpose to help regenerate interest into the craft. The journey begins at the Museum & Café, located in the centre of the hub. Here the user can visit the exhibits on gondolas, learning the history of the construction before having a bite to eat the café. The buildings brass fins reflect on the stroke pattern of a Gondolier.

Located around the corner form the main stretch of buildings is the Striped Society, the second part of the journey to becoming a Master Craftsman. It is here where the users become interested in the Gondolier skills. Here they can learn and practise how to row a Gondola. Similarly, to the brass fins of the Museum and Café, the Striped Society’s roof mimics the pattern of the Gondolier moving throughout the water.

From there the user moves onto the Trade School. This is a place for people to begin learning how to construct Gondolas and Oars. People will spend most of their time here learning the craftsmanship put into each gondola. Each gondola takes around 2 months to build from start to finish.

The final stage of the journey is the Workshop. Here master craftsmen create and repair Gondolas. Their skills are used each and everyday creating highly refined masterpieces. This is the knowledge which needs to be retained and passed onto future generations.



















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