La Corte Verde


Type Mixed-Use
Location San Donà di Piave, Italy
Year 2021

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La Corte Verde is the proposal for an innovative world-class food hub destination integrated into a dense urban forest.
The aim is to create a new Ecosystem where nature and architecture are embraced to give visitors and residents of San Donà a sensorial immersion within a rediscovered landscape.
The design proposal will place people and nature at the centre of the architectural response, with an emphasis on place-making to foster a strong sense of community.

Reclaimed Land | Bonifica ambientale
The design is inspired by the historic land reclamation process of the area, which originally led to the creation of a new habitat and to the coexistence between people and nature.
Urban Identity | Identità urbana
Our approach embraces the complex, layered history of San Donà and celebrates the important role of urban connectivity that ATVO has played during recent years.
New land reclamation process | Bonifica urbana
The design proposal establishes a new land reclamation process, placing people and nature at its heart. La Corte Verde aims to become a further stratification along the time, enhancing the peculiarities of the place with an intervention that has nature as a common thread.
La Corte Verde will create 15.500 m2 of new public space.
New Metabolism | Nuovo Metabolismo urbano
La Corte Verde will create a new Agorà, in a strong continuation with the city centre, to bring new energy to the city. The proposal aims to be the new fulcrum for social and commercial exchanges.
Green energy | Batteria urbana
La Corte Verde will be an exemplary regenerative architecture, a carbon negative, pilot project to promote the values of sustainability and supply clean energy to the city.



The project strategy aims to establish a new urban attractor that places San Donà within rebalanced competitive and dynamic regional relationships.
The implementation of the new intermodal hub in Porta Nuova creates an incredible opportunity to change the metabolism of San Donà by introducing activities able to strengthen the economic, social and cultural impact.
Our proposal aims to use the potential of the area to become a hinge between the surrounding centralities. The main engine of this redevelopment is la Corte Verde, a new generation food and horticultural market, architecturally integrated to the natural environment.
The former ATVO bus station will become a new dynamic urban area where people converge into a continuous flow and where the public realm extends under the roofs and behind the facades of the built surfaces.

The iconic 18m tall arch of the former ATVO building is now open to invite visitors and residents of San Donà into a new ecosystem. This gateway leads into a unique and dense urban forest which re-introduces native vegetation on a permeable soil.
The ATVO building will form an extension of the surrounding commercial district, providing retail, shops and spaces for the local community. The new market extends behind its facade and will combine a new generation food hub, market place and a horticultural-flower market under one roof.
A sustainable three storey terraced structure hosts the market stalls and social seating area overlooking nature.
An attractive top floor hosts a tropical greenhouse to showcase botanical diversity.
To support a 24/7 strategy, we envisage the inclusion of complementary spaces such as cinema and theatre to encourage both evening and afternoon activities for adults and children.
La Corte Verde will offer an interesting and varied day and evening programme to move an all-day economy as well as to create a safe environment through natural surveillance.
The interior spaces are treated like a real landscape, an environment able to place users in a relationship with the natural dimension through the introduction of elements such as vegetation, sunlight, sustainable materials and finishes, the combination of which generates a perceptive and sensorial experience.

The Urban Forest
La Corte Verde is inspired by the historic hygrofil forest that used to occupy the territory before the land reclamation process. The main tree species that used to define the forest are the Poplar and the Willow tree. Today, after many years of alterations of the territory, this vegetation is still present along parts of the Piave.
The proposal aims to preserve the naturalistic identity of the place by bringing back nature to the city centre, fostering biodiversity and creating a less vulnerable landscape, specific to the climate in and around San Donà.
The proposed landscape will be linked to a water management system through the implementation of Blue Roofs, Rain Gardens and Phytodepuration process to achieve a sustainable water harvesting cycle.
Compelling activities, fresh air, greenery, and beautiful spaces, will encourage visitors to stay, make the place their own. The vegetation reduces the heat island effect, filters the air, and floods the environment with oxygen, providing shade and cover in summer and wind protection in winter. In short, it will give San Donà a “climatising machine”
La Corte Verde will always be 10 degrees better than the outside!

Phasing and implementation strategy
We have developed an outline plan that can be subdivided in three incremental phases. Each phase has the potential to succeed without being dependent on future phases. It will deliver sustainable goals while being part of a larger holistic plan.
The first phase envisages the development of the market place and its urban forest within the former ATVO bus station area, following its relocation to the Porta Nuova site.
The ground floor of the former ATVO building will host retails and shops, whilst the upper floor will maintain the current administrative offices until their planned relocation in 2023.
This initial transformation of the site will start to generate a new metabolism for the city and will guarantee ATVO to acquire the economic resources to develop the new complex in via Silos.
The second phase will involve the full redevelopment of the ATVO building and its integration to the new complex, as well as the redevelopment of the Piazza IV Novembre site and the adjacent urban infrastructures.
La Corte Verde will be fully integrated and reconnected to the San Donà urban fabric.
The third phase looks at the potential future expansion of the project into the adjacent site, currently occupied by the Liceo Classico Eugenio Montale, but which will soon relocate to the north of the city.
The proposal is to develop and expand the former school complex to integrate tourist hospitalities, hotels and accommodations, strategically located next to the historic city centre and in support of the established tourist destination that San Donà aims to be.

Adaptable and sustainable market strategy
The design proposal envisages a modular and flexible framework that enables representation and ownership of local stakeholders and users groups. The market stalls modules can be used individually or grouped in clusters. The market interiors will be flexible, grow and shrink as needs require. The building becomes a responsive element that changes to meet the current and future needs of the local stakeholders.
The proposal supports the objectives of the European Green Deal and Farm to Fork strategy, extending the sustainability strategy at the market source and supporting the transition to a sustainable food system.
We envision a space dedicated to local business and manufacturers, where food is sourced locally and its waste is reduced and recycled.
The proposal will create new green jobs and support the Circular Economy, to revitalise the San Donà city centre and the commercial district.

Regenerative Architecture
We envision an intervention that is able to transform sustainability in an architectural experience.
La Corte Verde will target a carbon negative status, optimising both the embodied Carbon and operational Carbon through the whole life cycle of the project. It will be an exemplary regenerative architecture, a pilot project to promote the values of sustainability and supply clean energy to the city.
ATVO building
The ATVO building structure will be retained and conferred with a new important role. It’s external aspect will be kept unaltered to celebrate its past history and act as a known landmark, a familiar element which hosts an innovative space.
Retaining and reusing the existing building saves substantial material and demolition costs leading to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions.
Modular structure
The modular, timber structure design is driven by functional and sustainability principles. The timber stores carbon and provides a strong environmental solution when compared to more traditional structures. The entire structure and architectural components are designed for disassembly, to ensure that every component and material can be recycled as efficiently as possible at the end of its lifespan.
The skin
The modular timber structure is wrapped and protected by an exterior bioclimatic skin that opens and closes to control the ventilation and solar gain. In this way, it is possible to control the internal temperature and guarantee a base of comfort in the circulation spaces as well as in the in-between spaces, minimising the mechanical ventilation.
PV panels cover the timber roof structure, providing clean energy to the market as well as filtering the sunlight.
Within this improved climate there are well insulated prefabricated wooden boxes that help to achieve the comfort conditions for the market users and workers.
The distribution of these boxes is different on each floor depending on the needs of each user creating generous and indeterminate interstitial spaces. These spaces link with the circulations generating more informal seating and resting areas.

La Corte Verde will generate a new metabolism for the city of San Donà to inspire and encourage belief in a remarkable future, after the recent pandemic.
We imagine other possibilities to inhabit the cities to face climate change and to establish new synergies and inclusive environments.