Veneto Eye Bank Foundation (Fondazione Banca degli Occhi del Veneto Onlus)
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The Veneto Eye Bank Foundation. Photo ©Enrico Cano, courtesy of Emilio Ambasz.Project Name: Veneto Eye Bank Foundation (Fondazione Banca degli Occhi del Veneto Onlus)
Year: 2008
Owner: Fondazione Banca degli Occhi del Veneto Onlus
Location: Mestre-Venice, Italy
Building Type: Non-Profit
Type: Semi-Intensive
System: Custom
Size: 76910 sq.ft.
Slope: 1%
Access: Accessible, Private
Submitted by: Emilio Ambasz & Greenroofs.com

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:
Architect: Emilio Ambasz, Hon. FAIA
Architect of Record: Studio Altieri-Alberto Altieri
Emilio Ambasz & Associates Collaborators: Lucas Fornari, Luca Cerutti, Giulio Altieri, Valentina Altieri, Alessandro Melotto, Francesco Viero+
Emilio Ambasz & Associates Collaborators: Chiara Urso, Giulia Andreotti, Peter Norris, and Bradley Whitermore
Photographer: Enrico Cano
A.T.I. for Project & Construction: C.O.MES. scrl Costruzione nuovo Ospedale di Mestre
Società Consortile a Responabilità Limitata: Astaldi (Mandatary), Ing. E. Mantovani (Building Company), Mattioli
Mechanical Plants: Cofathec Progetti (Project), STEAM (Consultants)
Electrical Plants: Gemmo Impianti (Project), TIFS (Consultants)
Consultant: Prof. Vitaliani, TIFS
Frameworks: Permasteelisa
Lighting: Disano
Flooring: Marazzi
Lifts: Schindler
Climate Control: Cofatech
The Veneto Eye Bank Foundation. Photo via Gruppo Novello.The Veneto Eye Bank Foundation. Photo via Gruppo Novello.Photo ©Enrico Cano, courtesy of Emilio Ambasz.
Fondazione Banca degli Occhi del Veneto Onlus (Veneto Eye Bank Foundation) is a non-profit, social welfare organization and regional centre of reference for cornea transplantation and research into epithelial stem cells.

Established in 1987 in response to the growing need for ocular tissue for transplant in public hospitals in the Veneto Region, Fondazione is today one of the leading eye banks in Europe and the most important organized structure in Italy for the retrieval, testing, processing, preservation, storage and distribution of human ocular tissue for transplant and for the treatment of pathologies of the anterior segment of the eye. In addition, Fondazione was the first facility in the world able to distribute grafts of corneal stem cells reconstructed in vitro for the treatment of ocular pathologies not curable only with a corneal transplant.

Designed by Emilio Ambasz, this 5.000 square meter (50,000 sq ft) medical facility houses several functions related to the latest scientific and medical advances in eye transplant and research: a surgical facility, stem cell research laboratories, eye treatment center, administrative offices as well as the EIDON Foundation educational facility, which includes a 450-seat auditorium.

This building is very visible from the roadway and traffic roundabout. The site is a flat, triangular-shaped 2.8 hectare site located near a local railroad, major roadway, and the entrance to a new regional hospital, the Venice-Mestre Hospital, also designed by Ambasz.

The triangular-shaped building is defined by two 12 meter high walls, shaped as trapezoidal figures, clad in pre-stained (prepatinato) copper set at right angles to each other. The two extreme points of the orthogonal walls seem about to touch each other.
The Veneto Eye Bank Foundation. Graphic by and courtesy of Emilio Ambasz Associates.The Veneto Eye Bank Foundation. Photo Photo via the FBOV (Fondazione Banca degli Occhi del Veneto Onlus).
In the triangular space created by these walls, a volume is defined by a series of landscaped terraces at each floor level, making up one side. On the opposite side, the building rises as a series of steps that lead to a flat planted roof garden. These steps make the entire planted roof an outdoor amphitheater.

A parabolic opening forms the main entrance through this stepped facade. Administrative, research, and surgical functions are located on the three floors above ground while a ground level circular courtyard provides light to the educational spaces located below ground. A two-story high wall of glass bisects the courtyard making a grand lobby space. A 450-seat auditorium is located off this lobby. The EIDON-Center for Education occupies the spaces surrounding the courtyard for classrooms. Its courtyard is planted with fragrant flowering trees.

All of the spaces receive direct natural sunlight from the large walls of glass placed at a distance from the edge of the vegetated terraces. The combination of the plantings and deep overhangs minimize the impact of heat loads by blocking sunlight during the middle of the day. Spaces away from the terraces such as treatment rooms and restrooms receive additional light from clerestory windows. Each riser of the steps leading up the roof has glass blocks installed into them allowing light to penetrate the rooms below.

A below grade parking garage eliminates all visible cars on the site to ensure a continuous green surface around and onto the building’s roof. The garage connects at the lowest level to the facility through a corridor towards the auditorium. All mechanical, air handling equipment and medical gases are located off the parking garage and under the circular drop off. The surface of the driveway here is grilled to allow for ventilation from the spaces below.

The Veneto Eye Bank Foundation (Fondazione Banca degli Occhi del Veneto Onlus) is a distinct, iconic project which embraces architect Emilio Ambasz's philosophy of "The Green Over the Gray," or the landscape over the building.

Additional thumbnail photos:

The Veneto Eye Bank Foundation. Graphic by and courtesy of Emilio Ambasz Associates.The Veneto Eye Bank Foundation. Photo ©Enrico Cano, courtesy of Emilio Ambasz.The Veneto Eye Bank Foundation. Photo ©Enrico Cano, courtesy of Emilio Ambasz.The Veneto Eye Bank Foundation. Graphic by and courtesy of Emilio Ambasz Associates.The Veneto Eye Bank Foundation. Photo ©Enrico Cano, courtesy of Emilio Ambasz.
The Veneto Eye Bank Foundation (Fondazione Banca degli Occhi del Veneto Onlus) is located at Padiglione Rama, Via Paccagnella 11, 30174 - Zelarino (VE) - (Venice, Italy); Tel +39.041.9656400; visit their website in English; info@fbov.it. Visit the Fondazione Banca degli Occhi del Veneto Onlus Facebook page. See the site on Google. Watch the 2:54 Veneto Eye Bank Foundation - Project of the Week 12/19/16 video from Greenroofs.com on the greenroofsTV channel on YouTube. Greenroofs.com Project of the Week video photo credits all courtesy of Emilio Ambasz ©Enrico Cano; Fondazione Banca degli Occhi del Veneto Onlus (FBOV) and their Facebook page; Gruppo Novello Building Envelope; and The Creation of Adam via Wikimedia by Michelangelo, Public Domain.

See the case studies from
Emilio Ambasz & Associates and Gruppo Novello Building Envelope. Visit the website of Photographer Enrico Cano. Read the February 2013 Veneto Eye Bank Foundation / Sede Fundación Banco de Ojos Veneto, Tecnne by Marcelo Gardinetti origianlly published in TECNNE and the November 2012 Eye banks worldwide increasing standards, expanding mission by Ocular Surgery News Europe Edition.
 
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