The transformation of a century-old brick university facility into a combination hostel and hotel has injected new life into this aging, somber building and has launched it from seclusion into the public domain.
Since the Middle Ages in Venice, several of the islands in the Venetian lagoon between the Grand Canal and the Lido leading to the Adriatic Sea were used as refuges for monks seeking solitude or for victims of the plague and other contagious diseases.
Like a Houdini stunt, these three hospitality venues—in addition to the others in this month's Building Type Study—are sensational exercises in escape. Yet, they are also firmly rooted in their varying contexts.
In 2003, the Toronto firm Hariri Pontarini Architects won a competition for the Baha’i Temple of South America in Santiago, Chile, with a nine-sided design featuring petal-like elements that twist and rise to a central oculus.