Voga Veneta // Maximiliane Sattler

Key Info

Basic Information

Maximiliane Sattler
Master of Science
Frank Tebroke
Chair for Spatial Design

A rowingclub in the venetian arsenal


Venetian rowing - Voga veneta - is inextricably linked to the history of Venice. Already in the 5th century, when the first parts of the lagoon were settled, the Voga veneta became an essential part of the urban development. Due to conquests of the surrounding settlements, many locals fled into the lagoon in boats to find shelter.

The water in the lagoon was dominated by shoals and sandbanks and therefore required a certain technique to move around the site and transport the necessary building materials. Without the Voga veneta, in which a plane boat is rowed standing up and looking forward, settlement in the shallow waters would not have been possible. This technique enables the rower to get a good overview of the shallows and obstacles ahead, while the boat can be steered quickly and manoeuvrably through narrow channels.

The task of the work was to give this immaterial heritage of the city of Venice, the special rowing technique of the Voga Veneta, a space of execution. A space in which this special technique could not only be conserved and preserved, but also passed on and taught. A rowing club in Venice, which as a representative place should show what the city has shaped and formed in its historical beginnings.

Based on analyses of the typology of the Venetian palazzo, the design of the Rowing Club proposes a fusion of structures of Venetian Palazzo with industrial influences from the Arsenale. From an urban planning point of view, the volume of the Rowing Club occupies a place in the overall representative view of the Arsenale. Situated between the Casa del Bucintoro and the nave of the Squadratori building, the solitary building of the Rowing Club completes the urban structure with its scale and cubature.

From a functional point of view, representative functions are also included in the spatial programme in addition to sports uses such as the large boat halls and the Palestra. For example, areas for a ballroom, a gallery and a trophy collection will be added to emphasise the external effect of the rowing club. Furthermore, catering areas with kitchen and storage are planned, which will be accessible via an external entrance and can also be used outside the training hours of the rowing club.

The structural principle of the rowing club is based on the three-aisled Venetian palazzo, with a central, structurally dissolved central axis to which subordinate uses are attached. On the ground floor, the rowing club is accessed via the central portal from both the land and water side. Following the central hall are the boathouses on the water side. The side portals on the land side offer externally accessible gastronomy.

While the boat halls have a two-storey room height, a further mezzanine floor is inserted on the land side, which, in addition to the changing rooms and sanitary complexes for the athletes, has gallery and administrative rooms for the rowing club. The mezzanine floor is structurally similar to the traditional structure of the Venetian palazzo. There the aisles connected to the double-high Androne are extended by mezzanine floors.

Entering the upper floor from the access cores, a kind of gallery is formed, from which a view into the ceiling-high middle hall is possible. Viewed structurally, the upper floor dissolves into an open floor plan. A superordinate U-structure is created, formed by the two large halls attached above the boat halls, which contain the functions of a banqueting hall and a palestra, and the open access hall running in a transverse direction.


Contact info graduate: maximiliane.sattler@rwth-aachen.de