Dolo, a small Italian town of 15,000 inhabitants located in the province of Venice, Veneto region, called architects for a competition for the refurbishment of its most important public space: Piazza del Grano.
The history of Dolo is intimately linked to a famous canal that crosses it and that communicates the cities of Padua and Venice by water. This channel has been through the centuries a very important commercial route, generating a strong socio-cultural activity around it, to the point that we could say that Dolo would never be the same village without that channel.
The Piazza del Grano is an elongated public space next to the main church of the town that opens to the canal, which is nothing other than the urban heritage of a former small river port where markets were organized with products transported by the canal and, as its name implies, the grain of the nearby crops was loaded and unloaded over there.
Today Piazza del Grano has become a mere urban expansion on the side of a street quite busy by the traffic rolled next to the canal, which now replaces the old river traffic.
For its refurbishment, OOIIO proposes to cut the traffic and redesign the area through a metaphor that reminds those who visit Dolo the importance of the canal that they see in front of them in the history of that place, imagining that the Piazza del Grano and the contiguous street are a petrified channel, whose waters are the ground through which we walk, the benches and planters have the form of gondola and are distributed as sailing through the urban space, and creating pergolas that remember those stalls of the merchants who formerly they were placed in the same place, now serving as shade spaces for the enjoyment of the inhabitants of the town.
All built using lightweight laminated wood structures of sustainable forests and floors stoned with Italian marble. An urban refurbishment project deep rooted on local traditions.