Dream of Venice Architecture

Dream of Venice Architecture

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Dream of Venice Architecture is a journey through the remarkable Venetian urban landscape. A cadre of architects and architectural writers explore the uncharacteristic elements that make Venice unique in the world. Often the first reaction to Venice is one of feeling overwhelmed by the astonishing beauty of her existence.


Dream of Venice Architecture Cover


Dream of Venice Architecture reveals the features that contribute to incredulity, from the mysterious sotoporteghi to the complexity of Carlo Scarpa’s immaculate detailing. The book includes reveries from architects who have built in the city, been inspired by the city and share in the wonder.

The introduction is by Richard Goy, the international authority on Venetian architecture. He bridges the chasm between the original muddy wilderness of the 5th century and the opulence of the built environment.


Rialto Bridge in Venice


The dramatic photographs are by the award-winning documentary filmmaker and photographer Riccardo De Cal, who has focused his work on architects, architecture and restorations in the Veneto.  He has exhibited at the Venice Biennale and the Bucharest Biennale, at the Milan Triennale, and film festivals in Lisbon, Cannes and Venice. A portion of the proceeds from each book will be donated to Fondazione Querini Stampalia. Dream of Venice Architecture is a luminous book, which portrays Venice as a magnificent living city. [Publication date: May 28, 2016.]


Contributors to

Dream of Venice Architecture

Tadao Ando, Japan; Enrico Baleri, Italy; James Biber, USA; Randy Bosch, USA; Mario Botta, Switzerland; Constantin Boym, USA; Louise Braverman, USA; Vincenzo Casali, Italy; Francesco Da Mosto, Italy; Cynthia Davidson, USA; Michele De Lucchi, Italy; Massimiliano Fuksas, Italy; Jonathan Glancey, UK; Richard Goy, UK; Frank Harmon, USA; Guy Horton, USA; Michael Johnson, USA; Shun Kanda, USA; Max Levy, USA; Juergen Mayer H., Germany; Robert McCarter, USA; William Menking, USA; Richard Murphy, Scotland; Louise Noelle, Mexico; Dial Parrott, USA; Valeriano Pastor, Italy; Guido Pietropoli, Italy; Carlo Ratti, Italy; Witold Rybczynski, USA; Anne-Catrin Schultz, USA; Annabelle Selldorf, USA; TAMassociati, Italy; Michael Welton, USA; Thomas Woltz, USA; Diana Yakeley, UK; Rocco Yim, China.


Mentions of Note for Dream of Venice Architecture

“With its artfully evocative photography and illuminating, often-poetic, essays, Dream of Venice Architecture pierces the myths and mist of this enchanting city with fresh insights into its myriad sensory pleasures. From exotic buildings whose facades resemble carpets to pirouetting wind vanes that signal the onset of the latest Adriatic weather, Dream of Venice Architecture captures both the magic and the mysteries of this ‘precarious paradise.’”    —Blair Kamin, architecture critic, Chicago Tribune

Dream of Venice Architecture is a visual and visceral examination of the dueling, often antithetical forces that make Venice like no other place. Architecture’s top minds navigate the personal channels of memory in a city that is both sinister and tranquil, profound and lithe. Riccardo De Cal’s haunting images demonstrate its multitudes—it is all encompassing and singular—somewhat like the human experience. You come to understand the idea that ancient Venice, built on brown waters, is beautiful in spite of itself. “ —Mieke ten Have, design editor at large, Elle Decor

“Venice is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Centuries of accumulation of historic layers have turned it into a complex and diverse city that every architect should visit some point of their life. This complexity also yields infinite ways to look at and examine Venice’s rich canals, streets and architecture. In a particularly perceptive and emotional way, this book, thanks to the beautiful photos by Riccardo De Cal, shows us the city treasured by some of the world’s most renowned architects and architectural writers. “  —David Basulto, editor in chief, ArchDaily

“Residents of 14th century Venice would still recognize their city today. Venice was built to fit into her liquid environment, at the same time fully respecting the needs of her inhabitants. Dream of Venice Architecture is a heartfelt invitation to learn what Venice can still teach us today about humane architecture.”   —Iris Loredana, author, La Venessiana 

“Loved this book starting from the dedication to all Venetians, past present and future. The array of contributors provides privileged insight into the thinking of some of the most accomplished architects as well as a number of very interesting new discoveries. This is the exception to the rule that there are too many books on Venice!” —Jane da Mosto co-founder We Are Here Venice

“Venice belongs to the whole world, as demonstrated by these intensely felt reactions by people of many nationalities to its beauty and livability—despite the uncontrolled tourist numbers. This book should be a wake-up call to the Italian authorities who so mismanage the city.” —Anna Somers Cocks, former chairman, the Venice in Peril Fund and founder-editor, The Art Newspaper

“Carlo Scarpa was the 20th Century’s undisputed master of arranging materials, color, and form into architectural compositions and details that were at once tough and tectonic, but above all, so mind-blowingly sensuous and beautiful, they could bring tears to your eyes. This timely collection of personal observations about Venice, which include Scarpa’s work, reminds us of his profound influence and unparalleled genius.”  —John Friedman, FAIA

“We would all rather actually be in Venice than just dream of it. But for those times when you are looking forward to your very first visit there, or when you are remembering the special moments from your last stay, this is the book you want to be holding in front of you. “ —Steve Kroeter, editor in chief Designers & Books 

“If this book doesn’t make you want to jump on a plane to visit the city John Ruskin described as ‘a wonderful piece of world,’ you should have your heart examined.” —Julie Lasky, design writer and critic

“I open this book of eloquent prose and exquisite photography, and my own memories of Venice come swirling back. This is one of those rare books one wants to keep near, to return to again and again.” —Kristen Richards, co-founder/Editor, ArchNewsNow

James Swan of Million Dollar Decorating

Interviews JoAnn Locktov, Publisher


Into the Labyrinth: the Making of the Photography Exhibit

by Riccardo De Cal at Fondazione Querini Stampalia


Italian Bark Creates a Fun Video of

Dream of Venice Architecture

To see more, including an intermingling of quotes by the architects featured in the book and Riccardo De Cal’s photography, visit the post by Elisabetta, who writes,”…this book has a really special meaning to me as I actually did my studies at Venice Architecture University. I feel it was really a big privilege to study in such an unique city and I have really good memories related to those years, Venice is still my favourite place ever and where I use to spend time even just for a walk to relax and find inspiration.”