Plans for a brand new, futuristic skyscraper, to be designed by Pierre Cardin, have divided critics and residents, with many taking the view that it will intrude on the traditional architecture of the historic city.
Cardin, 90, who emigrated from Veneto to France as a young man, has set his sights on building the 800ft tall modern skyscraper, which will be able to be seen from the heart of the World Heritage-listed city thanks to its unusual design - three shard-like towers connected by six interlocking, horizontal discs and 60 storey height. The project is predicted to cost £1.25 billion (1.5 billion euro).
While many are up in arms about the construction of this tower, that would be more suited to the Emirates, the positive aspects of the build must also be weighed up. For instance, the project itself will create thousands of jobs for those in Porto Marghera, which used to be sustained by oil refineries and chemical plants that closed in recent years having a negative effect on the community.
Due to his advancing years, he recently said that it would be his “last great project” and that numerous cities around the world would be happy with such a big development project, but he chose Venice for sentimental reasons as it is close to the village where he was born.
Cardin has collaborated with his nephew Rodrigo Basilicati, an architect, on designing the tower. When questioned on their plans Mr Basilicati told the Corriere del Veneto newspaper "We chose this apparently ugly and difficult location because we hope that it will convince other people that Porto Marghera can enter a new chapter…We'll create four to five thousand jobs, maybe even 7,000, and we want to give employment to people who have been out of work."
The skyscraper, which will feature apartments, hotels, restaurants, offices, nearly 60 lifts, a cinema complex AND a helicopter landing pad, has the backing of local politicians.
Politicians gave the go-ahead for the development earlier this year, but it has since become suffocated with the controversy surrounding such a grandiose project. However there are concerns that because the tower is so high, that it may interfere with planes flying into Marco Polo airport, the
primary serving airport to Venice with millions of foreign tourists flying in every year.
Historians and cultural heritage figures say it is too large – and too vulgar – to be built anywhere near Venice.
The first symbolic stone of the project is due to be laid in September by Pierre Cardin himself, however the controversy has put a spanner in the works, and there are speculations over whether that will happen.
He is apparently getting very impatient with the delays and has said that if Venetians cannot sort out their disagreements, he will take his vision elsewhere, perhaps to China or Dubai.
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