Venice Lagoon


PML, Environmental monitoring platform

#innovationandheritage tells the approach to the PML design, a monitoring platform in the Venice Lagoon, a bridge between tradition and innovation.

The PML is a module deisgned ot monitor the chemical and physical quality and pollution of the water and the air of the Venice Lagoon.

In the seascape dotted with structures ranging from wooden poles to small constructions like power generators, tide recordersand religious capaitals, the module is a distinctive and noticeable feature of the ten stations that form the monitoring network.

The PML is self-suffcient (it runs on photovoltaic panels) and communicates by sattelite with the network's operation centre in the Venice Arsenale.

The PML is designed to minimize the risk of vandalism and equipment theft as no landing platform was necessary around it.

The structure is sealed by first rotating the cowl on the top and then leaving by the steps, which slide vertically upwards on counterweights to make the entrance level inaccessible while also serving as a door to close the module.

The upper part consists of a fiberglass shell and floor; the base which supports the module and serves as a protective enclosure for an electrochemical probe, is made of recycled plastic with co-extruded internal reinforcement. The need to measure low concentration of heavy metals means that the lower support (commonly made of steel) could not be made of metal. 

After the approval of this project the Heritage Committee of Venice has allowed the use of recycled plastic for the pales which dot the Lagoon Canals.

We are proud of having designed a highly innovative and sustainable object, but able to incept a dialogue with the fragile landscape of the Venice lagoon.


  • D. Santos Quartino, Il Paesaggio. 100 architetti, 1000 idee, Modena, 2012, pp. 74-77

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  • C. Cappai, M.A. Segantini, PML. Piattaforma di monitoraggio ambientale della laguna di Venezia, in <<Abitare>> n. 439, maggio 2004, pp. 136-137 614 KB
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