Venice Lessons

Venice Lessons

Industrial Nostalgia. Teaching and Research in Architecture

Venice's dual nature as myth and real city, examined from an architectural and urbanist perspective—the latest volume in the successful Teaching and Research in Architecture series.



Title Information

Edited by Harry Gugger, Barbara Costa, Juliette Fong, Salomé Gutscher, Stefan Hörner, and Charlotte Truwant

1st edition

, 2016

Paperback with folded map as dust jacket

240 pages, 304 color and 71 B/w illustrations, graphics, plans, and maps

23 x 31 cm

ISBN 978-3-03860-034-3

In cooperation with Laboratory Basel (laba), EPFL


Venice, one of the world’s most famous places, has a dual nature of real city and myth. It is suspended in the struggle between sea and soil and unable to survive without cyclical preservation and continual compromise. The myth, which is largely shaped by nostalgia and ideals of the past, superimposes today’s real city with its infrastructural challenges and can hardly be reconciled with a concrete future.

Venetian Lessons: Industrial Nostalgia examines this conflict. Based on a recent research program at EPFL’s Laboratory Basel (laba), it demonstrates how the city must constantly redesign its historic image to retain its position as one of Europe’s prime tourist attractions while the necessary permanent renovation undermines its livelihood. The findings are visualized in striking images, graphics and maps. The book also features proposals for architectural interventions by laba’s students.

Interlaced is a reprint of Miroslav Sasek’s famous picture book This is Venice which reflects the common Venice nostalgia while the Venice Lessons research context enables a fresh reading of this children’s classic.


Other volumes in the Teaching and Research in Architecture series:

Barents Lessons (out of print)

Swiss Lessons (out of print)

Icelandic Lessons (out of print)

Israel Lessons

Portugal Lessons

Fez Lessons

Manor Lessons

Authors & Editors

Barbara Costa

 is Head of Research at laba, where she currently also pursues her PhD degree. She graduated from University of Porto’s Faculty of Architecture and also holds a Master’s degree in drawing from University of Lisbon’s Faculty of Fine Arts.

Juliette Fong

 is laba's Head of Administration and Web Project Manager.

Harry Gugger

 is an architect and a Professor at Ecole Polytéchnique Fédérale de Lausanne's (EPFL) School of Architecture since 2005. He is head of EPFL's Basel-based satellite studio Laboratory Basel (laba).

Salomé Gutscher

 is an architect and working as a teaching assistant at laba. She graduated in architecture from EPFL and Copenhagen's Royal Academy of Fine Arts.

Stefan Hörner

 graduated in architecture from ETH Zurich and is laba's Head of Teaching.

Charlotte Truwant

 studied architecture at Ecole Polytéchnique Fédérale de Lausanne and works as a teaching assistant at laba.