camposaz builds temporary dormitories as sleeping alternatives for venice biennale guests

camposaz builds temporary dormitories as sleeping alternatives for venice biennale guests

camposaz has built a temporary dormitory to host guests of the french participation during this year’s venice architecture biennale, in caserma pepe, on the island of lido. approached by french curator encore heureux to create a unique experience in an alternative location, the workshop organization has turned an abandoned barrack into a collective space to eat, sleep and create.

 camposaz builds temporary dormitories as sleeping alternatives for venice biennale guests
the entrance area of the village looking towards the sleeping area
all photos by ZEROPXL



camposaz has gathered a group of 15 young designers, who designed and built 30 sleeping places in the interior spaces of caserma pepe. under the brief to ‘play with the tension between privacy and community, and develop ways for guests to influence their environment,’ and with the only restrictions being the two available spaces of the caserma, 12,5 m3 of wood, 700 m2 of fabric, 100 wheels, 10,000 screws and 14 days, the participants explored two different design approaches, both equally worth developing. two teams worked on the different rooms, developing two separate concepts: the village and the forest.

 camposaz builds temporary dormitories as sleeping alternatives for venice biennale guests
the forest



the forest team has explored the use of a static structure to create informal connections between users, while ensuring enough privacy at the same time. its shape and configuration was finalized during the construction phase as an informal composition of beds, which create a variation of spaces enveloped in tree-like structures. the starting point of the forest is a systematic structure of beams and columns in which beds and platforms are placed in a variety of ways. its structural stability has been arranged by randomly placed diagonals that form the image of an abstract forest, while its four primary structures are joined by bridges offering access to the beds. the entrance space acts as storage and a third space with ample natural light and an extra-high ceiling has been transformed into a multi-level lounge.

detail of structural system at the forest



the second team developed the idea of a transformable village, as a configuration of six mobile micro-houses, which can be moved and rearranged as guests see fit. all houses have their own character but are also clearly related to each other, while the five bunk beds and the double bed are able to move freely through the space and create a multitude of configurations. made in a clear-cut wood, the structures are covered with a translucent fabric, which creates a soft and private inner space with diffused lighting.

 camposaz builds temporary dormitories as sleeping alternatives for venice biennale guests
night time in the forest



the fabric used in both rooms has been colored with coffee, kurkuma, and onions, collected during the first week of the workshop and cooked together inside a big, wood-fired stove. by folding the fabric during the coloring and drying process, different tints of color appear, creating unique patterns. various structures signal the dormitories’ location, one of which holds 30 solar-powered mason jar lights that correspond to the number of beds. the jars also allow visitors to leave little messages for the next guests.

view of the forest during night time



camposaz is a wood self-construction workshop in 1:1 scale. it started in 2013 as an initiative stemming from the collaboration between the cultural associations aguaz and campomarzio, with the ambition to promote interaction between disciplines and practitioners dealing with architectural design. the workshop is open to architects, designers, carpenters between 18 and 35 years of age. during the workshop, living in close contact, they have to design and physically construct small wood installations, based on specific themes, aiming at enhancing the landscape. the team is usually formed by 12 to 20 participants led by a tutor and local carpenters who can assist in the construction process.

 camposaz builds temporary dormitories as sleeping alternatives for venice biennale guests
night time in the forest

in ‘the village’, guests can arrange the layout of the space as they see fit

the houses of the village all have a different character

at night the houses light up like lanterns

the tree of light stands in the courtyard – this is where the bedlights are charged during the day

inside the tree of light

inner courtyard of caserma pepe



project info:



participants: massimiliano piffer, tommaso benassi, alessandro chojwa, mariella marioky gentile, marianna landi, cezar cernea, davide tagliabue, alex gruk, elisa lorenzi, leonardo marzotti, nicola bonaldo, maria luisa miotto, elisa zatta, oliver savoirani, enrico tommasini
organisation & tutors: giovanni wegher, veronica sereda, paul schrijen
carpenter: claudio moz
sponsor: rothoblaas
client: encore heureux
special thanks to: biennala urbana, yes we camp



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: sofia lekka angelopoulou | designboom

SGHS korean pavilion venice biennale

designboom’s coverage of the 2018 venice architecture biennale is in partnership with leading energy company edison. edison is taking part in the 16th international architecture exhibition of la biennale di venezia by initiating a path towards sustainability and the efficient use of resources. the collaboration between edison and la biennale is based on awareness that energy is one of the fundamental elements of architecture and of the places, spaces and cities of contemporary life.

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