The dimension of the building are based on the huge void of Piazzale Roma, facing the bridge of Santiago Calatrava, on the opposite side. A huge, five level high space acts as an 'urban entrance' lit by skylights as are all the ex-industrial buildings in the area.
This vertical inner space, open to allow free access during the day, will house commercial services on the ground level, giving back to the citizen a big public space. It also functions as an entrance to a sequence of public spaces which will be regained by the future restoration of the existing buildings.
The new volume has a simple, archetypical, compact shape, resulting from the manipulation of the Venetian industrial building typology and the connection of the huge parking lots to the skyline.
A five meter long cantiliver on Piazzale Roma becomes the entrance: a huge ‘shadow’ which attracts the movement of people horizontally in the new urban system and vertically along either a linear stair or by elevators which distribute to all the levels.
The linear stair is designed parallel to the elevation facing the parking building San Marco, allowing the design of the elevation to incorporate small windows as a punctuation, admitting a special natural light into the building.
The material used to clad the building is pre-oxidised copper. Copper in Venice is the material with which all the institutional (religious and secular) buildings' roofs are built. In this project, materiality and form become a metaphor, representing institution: the house of justice is a big monomateric roof which welcomes the citizens into an enlightened space.
The architects always work with materiality and light, instigating, with pre-oxidation, the idea of subtracting material from surfaces and activating them with light, which is what time does. Working with the idea of 'time' is archetypical in Venice.