palais lumiere, pierre cardin, venice, skyscraper, futuristic, towers, modern, porto marghera, rodrigo basilicate

Millionaire high fashion designer and politician Pierre Cardin’s plans for a futuristic skyscraper near Venice is turning quite a few heads. The proposed 800ft, nearly $2 billion project, dubbed the “Palais Lumiere“,  is garnering criticisms that it will ruin the skyline of the UNESCO World Heritage city.


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In collaboration with Cardin’s nephew and architect Rodrigo Basilicati, the building would be located in the city of Porto Marghera, an industrial town several miles from Venice. Detractors assert that the planned 6o-story building, composed of three futuristic glass and steel spires connected by six interlocking discs, would dwarf the view of the bell tower of St. Mark’s Square.  With a helicopter landing pad, apartments, restaurants, and cinema multiplex, critics such as art historian Tomaso Montanari have been quoted by the Daily Mail as stating that it resembles something the “emirs of the Gulf” would have envisioned.

Despite complaints from locals and Italy’s aviation community over posing a possible problem for planes flying into the Marco Polo Airport, Cardin and Basilicati have high hopes for their design.  Saying it may be his “last great project”, 90-year-old Cardin hopes to go ahead with construction in September, but would consider moving the Palais to another country if complaints and delays continue.

The head of the Veneto region, Luca Zaia, believes the structure could be Venice‘s version of the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre.  Having a modern landmark in the area could create many new jobs and attract visitors in a region where oil refineries and chemical plants have closed in the recent past.

“We chose this apparently ugly and difficult location because we hope that it will convince people that Porto Marghera can enter a new chapter.” said Basilicati.

Tacky or terrific, the Palais Lumiere still waits for news as to where it will lay a foundation.

+ Pierre Cardin

Via Daily Mail