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A Closer Look at Pierre Cardin's Nutso Proposal For Venice

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Pierre Cardin is quickly becoming as famous for his futuristic re-envisioning of European cities and towns as he is for his clothes: last year, the fashion designer renovated an entire Provencal village and was called an "arrogant feudal seigneur" for doing so. This year, it's on to Venice, that picturesque Italian port city marked by Gothic churches, Renaissance-era bridges, and, if Cardin has anything to say about it, six flying saucers piercing the open air, or, as he's described it, "a lighthouse illuminating the sky." Architizer offers a closer look at the renderings for this Palais Lumière, an 820-foot-tall skyscraper trio consisting of private homes, retail, "swimming ponds," hanging gardens, hotels, and a restaurant, and although the project has been proposed for a site located five miles outside the city center, Italian preservationists are already petitioning the Italian Culture Ministry to put the kibosh on it. "This is unacceptable, unsustainable and incompatible with Venice's history," one told the New York Times. It must be stopped immediately." (Translation: it's "a spaceship that crashed into the lagoon, a shiny fishing lure or an illuminated mushroom," as another preservationist has said.) Another, uh, slight problem: the size, weight, and foundation of the structure might accelerate the city's sinking. And nope—underwater suburbs or floating towns are not what Cardin and architect Rodrigo Basilicati are going for here.

· All Pierre Cardin coverage [Curbed National]
· Futuristic Vision For a City Rooted in its Past [NYT]
· Will This Giant Glass Skirt Be Venice's First Skyscraper [Architizer]