Todd Collis

The Venice Storytelling Centre


Located at the Giardino delle Vergini, the Venice Storytelling Centre introduces a space that allows an alternative way to experience a story, attempting to expand what a story may be.

With pathways on the West, North, and East sides of the site, the project encourages the idea of arrival. Vertical revolving fins along all sides of the open courtyard creates the relationship between physical interaction and interior space. As pedestrians walk along the North path, they are provided with a peripheral glimpse of an informal story being told within the courtyard, sparking an interest to investigate further. An intended relationship between the adjacent Biennale pavilions and the site is constructed by matching the roof slope and eaves height of the new office mass sheltering the cafe. While their relationship is strong, their differences are clearly defined.
The revolving bright pink fins define the interior courtyard space, while the golden fins along the West define Caffé d’Oro, the Golden Coffee. The two elements work in unison, defining the loggia. The sky-blue office mass creates the relationship to the bright blue sky, golden fins connect with the city’s Byzantine heritage, and vibrant colours model admiration for the beautiful colours used in Venetian blown glass and glass mosaics. The vibrant colours surrounding the storytelling space over-stimulate the senses - senses which are then under-stimulated when attention is turned to the storytelling space, emphasizing the story itself.

Upon entry to the storytelling space, one’s senses begin to calm through the muted gray exterior then interior space. Light only from the slight void in the roof and the dim glow from the punched holes through the wall connect one with a greater sense of the infinite. As one lays down on the mesh, they are suspended, leaving them motionless as the story progresses. The listeners are fully immersed in the story being told - no matter the tone, the importance is held on the voice and the story itself. The storytelling space is its own story yet suits any tale being told. Whether the story is being told nearby or disconnected through the sound of an echo, the storyteller controls the emotion of the occupants, no matter their proximity.










Muhammad Ghaffar

Building Stories


The primary goal of this project is to capture the essence of storytelling by allowing the visitors to connect and share. Our stories pass on from person to person, spreading out much like how water ripples and flows. The movement of water is the inspiration for creating a space that encourages sharing of these stories.








Heba Al-Fayez

Building Stories

Project Description:

Storytelling can be a dreamlike experience that reveals new things about the world and puts the vastness of the universe in perspective. This Storytelling Biennale pavilion reaches up into the sky and opens up to the corner of the site. The smaller of the two public spaces acts as the threshold with views deep into the café, places to relax and a narrow transitional opening into the vast storytelling space while the second brings people together at the edge of a beautiful view. Unifying the three program areas are the elongated café bookshelves that act as both window frame and mullion, stretching endlessly into the clouds.
Assignment Context:

The Venice Biennale (La Biennale di Venezia) has decided to construct a new facility dedicated to storytelling on the grounds of the Arsenale in Venice. You have been commissioned to propose a design for the new building. The building will contain a café (potentially replacing one of the existing Biennale cafes), a space for storytelling gatherings that can be used for other purposes (able to hold an audience of about 50), and office space for a staff of 2 to 4 people as well as a manager.
















Emily Guan

Hide & Seek


Building Stories is a design project for a storytelling space for the Venice Biennale. In this intimate site, different levels of opacity and materiality are used throughout the design of the buildings to bring visitors on a journey of exploring the hidden and the seen spaces.









Ryerson Department of  Architectural Science Toronto, CA.