This week we ventured out into the streets of Venice to begin production for the next installment of Departures.
This week we began the process of interviewing some of the most important and influential "Venetian" architects. These men and women have changed the area's landscape by finding creative ways to work around lot sizes, height restrictions and incorporating the "terroir" of the area - cool air, sun, beach, indoor & outdoor living - but most importantly, its character. They have also been at the forefront of sustainable architecture by incorporating features such as reusable (prefab) materials, solar energy and water reclamation.
Whitney Sanders, Glen Irani and Lawrence Scarpa stand out from the crowd by creating their own distinctive language, but they didn't come to this on their own. They are the descendents of a tradition of experimentation and audacity set forth by the likes of Frank Gehry and Brian Murphy, who designed Dennis Hopper's house and studio.
This architectural efflorescence isn't surprising. Venice is, after all, a community with long and strong artistic roots. As the Departures team has set out this week and I've had a real opportunity to directly take in the last decade's explosion of construction and development, I can't help but wonder: Are these multi-million dollar homes changing the nature of the area or simply affirming it?