Urban Intervention Camp: Casa Mare

2012
Urban Planning, International Policy, Pop-Up Space

Urban Intervention Camp: Casa Mare was a series of workshops and public space interventions on the island of Lido in Venice, Italy during the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale. The project was a partnership with local activists that were addressing the converging issues of immigrants rights and the privatization of public space. Mainly the plight of the growing population of Moldovan houseworkers, and plans to build luxury developments on the last stretch of beachfront properties in Lido. Events happened within an abandoned healthcare complex called Ospedale Al Mare that is planned to be redeveloped to private homes.

Within this Ospedale Al Mare space, pictured below, our team created a Casa Mare for Moldovan immigrants who either live within their employer's home and/or do not have time or space of their own to create one. The Casa Mare (Big House) is an area in Moldovan culture that is shared among family and friends for large meals and other communal activities. In creating the Casa Mare this project highlighted the need for private and public space for immigrant communities, while also highlighting the need to preserve local cultural institutions as opposed to favoring private development. 

In addition to creating the Casa Mare space and programming it with conversations about local immigrants rights and urban development issues, UIC:Casa Mare also organized walking tours of Lido, and a series of talks and workshops at the U.S. Pavilion at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale, which attracted participants from around the world. 

The project was done in partnership with DSN AGNC, BRUNO, the Street Plans Collaborative, and many local residents. This team was one of several that was invited by the U.S. State Department and the publication Architect Magazine to program the US Pavilion at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale. 

A meal of Afghan food prepared by Afghan immigrants working at Ospedale Al Mare

A meal of Afghan food prepared by Afghan immigrants working at Ospedale Al Mare

Beachfront access from Ospedale Al Mare is one of the last stretches of public beach in Lido

Beachfront access from Ospedale Al Mare is one of the last stretches of public beach in Lido