Ferro-Fini palace on the Grand Canal is the union of two adjacent Renaissance buildings, which have undergone various interior transformations over the centuries, keeping unchanged, on the other hand, their external look.
The Veneto Regional Council, with seat in the double palace, intends to build a new lift able to reach parts of the
building now not accessible to people with disabilities or limited mobility or sensory impairments. The two existing lift systems, in fact, can not reach all parts of the building except through flights of stairs and narrow passages not in compliance.
The problem of accessibility in any architecture, but particularly in a historicized architecture, and the resolution of this problem with current technical solutions raises important questions about the relationship between the historical building and the contemporary intervention works.
In this case, the project has to deal with the important architecture of two prestigious adjacent palaces of the fifth-seventeenth century, overlooking one of the most fascinating part of the Grand Canal, opposite the baroque Church of Madonna della Salute.
The new elevator will be built into a small courtyard inside the building and consists of 3 landings and a glass roof. This new steel and glass roof is placed above the existing gutters and is not visible from the outside, in order not to modify the appearance of the palace from the Canal Grande. The new roof will be also equipped with suitable motorized openings to allow ventilation.
The choice of a steel and glass structure statically independent from the building is due to the precise will to not to interfere in any way with the existing bearing structures.
The structural and plant problems find an answer in the architectural design: four steel tubes of about 22 cm in diameter develop in height with a non linear trend up to the roof. These elements respond to the structural needs of both the cover and the lift, but at the same time incorporate a pipe system that, through a mechanic exchange of heat, ensures the recycling of new air at appropriate temperatures. The structural choice, also, allows to have a lift shaft visually light in the sense that the vertical uprights are located external to the perimeter of glass: the horizontal elements are stringcourses who seek, through a compositional freedom, to solve the irregularities in height of the different storeys. Even in the design of the footbridges, which connect the elevator to the floors, we have sought the balance between lightness and robustness: the structure, in fact, forms a design that communicates with the structural elements of the roof and the lift.
The project is a coherent answer to the different structural and functional problems that the project faces. The architectural choice is nothing more than a synthesis of various problems that find an adequate expression to this particular context of intervention.