In 1977, Abraham began a series of speculative projects for the transformation of Venice. He was fascinated by the Cannaregio, a distressed area of the city that had suffered damage from bombs in World War I, and for which Le Corbusier designed an unrealized hospital in 1967. Abraham envisioned a new Venice free of historical pastiche, which would intensify the original elements of the city—the lagoon, winding canals with stone bridges, and the interplay between light and shadow. Like many architects in the 1970s, Abraham was interested in the essential nature of architecture and the topographical forms of the built environment. He wrote texts to accompany his drawings, which he considered to be autonomous works, not auxiliary to the act of building. Of his Hospital project he wrote, “Outer walls are torn open by gates to pass through images/forms/imprints/passages dissecting the House of Hope crossing the hidden rivers of the opaque Lagoon connecting the Houses of Birth with the Houses of No Return.”
Gallery label from 75 Years of Architecture at MoMA, 2007.