PROTECTING THE GRITTI PALACE AGAINST CONTINUOUS HIGH TIDE FLOODING

We are now in the phase of demolition of the floors of the public ground level area to prepare for the first phase of the construction of the concrete protective basin.

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The quote over ZMPS – the Oceanographic zero of “Punta della Salute”, the hydrographic station of Venice – of The Gritti Palace is only 94 cm. This means that in case of a high tide above 105 cm almost all the ground floor of The Gritti Palace is under water.

The frequency of the city’s flooding, caused by the high tides, has increased since the 1960’s, a phenomenon which is related to the “sinking” of the Venetian ground level. The phenomenon of “acqua alta” causes the change of land levels and erosion and it is a serious threat to the balance of the lagoon’s ecosystem.

The project for The Gritti Palace aims at the realisation of a concrete protective basin against high tide throughout the ground floor, composed of a foundation plinth of reinforced concrete of the appropriate thickness and completed with concrete side walls immediately adjacent to the existing walls of the building. This study has been coordinated and developed by the Venice Plan Ingegneria Company.

Exceptional tides (when the water-line is equal to or more than 140 centimetres on the mareographic zero of Punta della Salute) statistically occur once every 4 years. They are caused by a combination of various factors, such as the astronomical tide, low pressure on the Tyrrhenian Sea, strong south wind (scirocco) and the Adriatic seiche. Over the past 3 years, Venice has experienced as many as 4 episodes of marea eccezionale. In the featured images it is possible to see the flooding occurred on 01 December 2008, when the high tide reached a peak of 156cm.

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