Urban renovation and environmental issues: a joint cooperation through Architecture
This case, that I developed during 2011, represents a project of urban renovation of two squares and the street connecting them (1530 sqm), currently in progress in Vittoria - Sicily (Italy): it’s a pilot project for the Majority, being financed by funds available as compensation for private photovoltaic investments in the territory, and joints quality urban design and environmental sustainability.
This kind of intervention is in the frame of what is foreseen by the art. 7 of the “PEARS” that states the priority, common to the all UE Countries, for the production of electrical energy from renewable, not-fossil fuels sources . The local government, in accordance with PEARS, is focusing its attention on the sustainable development issues, defining rules and criteria of intervention, to insert the photovoltaic structures with the minimum impact on the landscape and to obtain the maximum environmental benefit.
Also to limit the widespread urbanization, the government considered necessary to intervene for the reclaiming of an area that, even part of downtown, was previously excluded by the political-administrative attention.
The basic idea of the project arises from the characteristics of the context, interpreting the urban quarter and the landscape of the bordering valley.
The intervention builds a “rule of the open spaces”, since a previous order of the buildings seems to be missing; therefore, the buildings themselves become fulcrum of the design, overhanging their borders on the urban soil. These edges form a geometrical palimpsest, made by lines and right-angles that, far from imposing a self-referential design, articulate the rhythm of the surrounding building on the pavement.
So the project enhances the sense of belonging to the place and involves directly all the inhabitants, inviting them to live and enjoy their place, sitting and relaxing in the new public square, in direct reference to the well-known L.B. Alberti’s sentence: A house is like a small city and the city is like a small house.
The composition lines of the pavement transfer on a small scale the reticular and perpendicular layout, giving order and continuity to the whole urban structure of Vittoria, a city of Spanish foundation of XVIIth Century.
Therefore the project first realizes a one-to-one correspondence between houses and public space, and further on a visible dialogue between the project and the city.
The landscape value of the area, enjoying a unique view on the valley of the Ippari river, is enhanced by the synergy between art and architecture, playing a fundamental role in the project; main actors are the primary colors in their Mediterranean essence (red, yellow, blue), lines and right-angles of neoplasticistic inspiration, and several cubic-moduled sculptures that draw important generative directions and define the privileged points of view for the landscape.
The intervention presents the architectural project as a quality solution to criticalities in the urban environment, involving funds deriving from the production of clean and renewable energy.
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