In 2010 Fondazione di Venezia launched an international competition to design M9 in an area of Mestre city centre that had long been off-limits to the public. The German architecture studio Sauerbruch Hutton won, submitting an urban regeneration project that merged new and renovated buildings into the cityscape and proposed new public spaces, accesses to make the area completely permeable and eco-sustainable solutions.
A wide range of surfaces can be found in the district: from the multicoloured ceramic tiles on the exteriors to exposed concrete, wood and trachyte used for the flooring. And, in true Sauerbruch Hutton style, the unique features of the location have been respected, preserved and enhanced.
The M9 project is a first-class example of sustainability, in terms of energy savings, its optimisation of water resources and the way it has improved the quality of the life of its urban setting. The area was designed using raw materials with a low environmental impact and energy-producing technologies: there are 276 photovoltaic panels and a geothermal field with 63 probes at a depth of 110 metres which produce 100% of the heating and 40% of the air conditioning required in the district.
The special roof in the restored cloister, with its steel structure and polyester/PVC covering, protects the paved areas below not only from the rain but also from the direct sun, which would cause it to overheat. This feature, together with the green roof on one of the new buildings, helps contain the heat island effect in this densely built-up area and improves the microclimate in the city centre of Mestre.
Thanks to these and other innovative structural and engineering solutions, M9 will be one of the first districts in Italy to obtain LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification from the Green Building Council Italia.
Sauerbruch Hutton is an international studio for architecture, urban planning and design, founded in 1989 in London by Matthias Sauerbruch and Louisa Hutton. In 1991 the practice moved to Berlin where a team of architects, interior designers, engineers and model makers works today, led by the two founders and Juan Lucas Young and the partners Jürgen Bartenschlag, Andrew Kiel, Tom Geister and David Wegener.