REGENERATION AND RESILIENCE OF URBAN SPACES: TOWARDS A NEW RELATIONAL APPROACH
Theme and Application
The STUDIO is one of the most important moment of the Master, offering a high level of education, oriented to intensively work on a specific design research.
With the focus of understanding the role of architectural design in the contemporary society, its main goal is to present categories, methodologies and tools to manage the project at different scales of action, from landscape, through the urban spaces, to components of internal design. At the same time, since the Studio is practically oriented in simulating the participation to a real architectural competition, with the complexity of a culturally advanced approach to discipline, it offers the chance to elaborate a project on a real and articulated contest, where urban planning and architecture mix their teachings, their scales, their cultural references and their practices, to finalize all the teachings offered to the student by the school.
The program covers a broad range of subjects related to the built environment and the main key–words, at the basis of the program, in coherence with Politecnico di Milano main directions and with the cultural tradition of its school, are:
The topic focuses on living cities as a new paradigm, in which new kinds of synergies can be considered between the environmental, biological, social, economic, cultural and political dimensions. This paradigms push students and teachers to think in terms of co-evolution and interactions, and to work with regenerative project dynamics, combining metabolic and inclusive vitalities.
Locatio of the selected competition: Barcelona (ES), Sant Andreu district, Barcelona
'CREATIVE PROCESS-PROJECTS TO REGENERATE INHABITED ENVIRNMENT'
The Studio proposes a reflection to complexify the industrial activity by hosting new residential and public uses. In the Sant Andreu district, Torrent de l’Estadella, it's possible to find an interesting case of urban recycling. Breaking with the ghetto effect of a monothematic neighborhood will be the priority objective of a transformation that determines a process of actions where answers can be found.
Torrent de l’Estadella is an industrial district located north of Barcelona. The space to be re designed has a rectangular shape and the subdivision comes from an old agricultural area. Tangentially to the site there are two important railway lines. One of them (Sant Andreu - La Sagrera) is in transformation and represents a new centrality. Regarding mobility, it is a place with good accessibility and easy connectivity with the surroundings, the city and the metropolitan area. The architecture of the site in the project area does not have heritage elements, although some factories can be remodeled and reused. In the surroundings we find a great diversity about the built up environment: newly built houses, more industrial estates, the historical center of Sant Andreu and various buildings with historic and architectural value. Regarding the public spaces, two areas should be highlighted: in the center of the site, an old torrent, which gives to the place its name and physically structures it, and the new linear park of Rec Comtal, under construction, on the train tracks.
The presence of such an articulated and under transformation infrastructural system stimulates design relations between networks and built up spaces, under many points of view, from relational to influencing the layout of the city. It is important inducing improvements to sustainability economic competitiveness and quality life.
The site is connected to the following themes, related to the REVITALIZATION /RECOVERY of the site:
- INTENSIFYING DISTRICTS: New energy has to be found for this site through a re design that respects the existing environment introducing specific elements and actions able to develop a resilient city.
This site addresses the scale of a larger neighborhood that needs to be requalified and intensified, as well as to be enriched with different qualities, such as new mixed uses, public space, natural elements, etc.
- REINFORCING BIODIVERSITY: On this site, the impetus for the transformation comes from the territory and from the use of all the resources (natural, ecological, infrastructural) to regenerate them.
- TRANSFORMING FROM THE INFRASTRUCTURES: Here, the engine of the change is the evolution of the networks integrating a new logic of mobility.
Aims of the proposed project:
-Transformation of industrial activities - both economic and productive into new public and open spaces, through recycling and reuse processes;
-Inclusion of telecommunications, materials, water, energy, mobility and nature in the process of redesigning the cultural models of the city;
-Redesign the heritage and part of the old functions for residential use and social services.
Architectural and planning criteria
On this site, the impetus for the transformation comes from the territory and from the use of all the resources (natural, ecological, infrastructural) to regenerate them.
Here, the engine that starts the change is the evolution of networks integrating a new logic of mobility. Understanding that new tools are today essential to successfully work on the process of city making. This approach is based on the idea of incorporating urban structures such as telecommunications, matter, water, energy, mobility and nature in the redesign of the cultural models of the city. Inclusive dynamics, and especially equitable ones, that bring closer to a social justice that articulates the territory. Understanding urban renewal and finding solution spaces to change the rules of the game will define the project. This has to plan both the present and future actions and guarantee the continuity of the regeneration results to which constant transformations will be added. To design a process represents an architectural challenge, but also a social, economic and ecological one. So the project has to define new and diverse scales of action.
On an integrated approach between Urban Planning and Architecture, the Design path is divided into three steps, each one corresponding to a specific time and a determined scale of intervention:
The tactical process
This step aims at promoting local transformations able to trigger relevant effects at a larger scale. The tactical process aims at tackling urgent problems, through strategic and discrete actions, highlighting the crucial places of the city and their transformative potential.
This step includes study trips to the project area, conditions permitting.
The strategical projec
The students will focus on a design approach centered on the notions of “context” and “belonging”. The object of study will be the design of a public space (open and built up), placed within a transformation area on which an international debate focuses. Along this phase, students will develop a proposal of urban design able to retrain a part of the city in its various and interfering elements: built up environment, open public spaces, spaces of relationships.
Focus on details
The third phase is more oriented on the elements of architecture, materials and design details. In this sense, the contents as well will have to answer to the most innovative roads of knowledge in the construction fields; they will act as nodal points between the “urban” and the “relational” systems of the cities. In a circular approach, the focus on details should refer and show their connection with the elements of the strategical approach.
The third phase will include final open critic with the presence of international guests.
During the project experience the students will cross different scales, times and fields of intervention. The workshop will deal with the matters of landscape, of shapes in space as well as of single building design. Therefore, the project will be intended as a multifunctional organism, focused on the relationship between the “architectural construction” and the “external space”, between private and collective, open and closed space, interpreted according to the different relationships among forms, materials and contents.
The course is equally divided in to two components: urban planning and architecture design. The two elements are not separated and together they will offer a more articulated approach to design. Urban planning and architecture offer the natural set of rules, guidelines, inspiration, looks, references to a circular approach to design, with a continuous jump between scales and elements. This approach allows the students to actively experiment the real processes through which the city, today, takes shape, re-invent itself and remains, even after the huge impact that the pandemic is having, the most important and the most interesting human invention. The approach of the Studio offers to students a full box of tools to understand how the changes on a specific area of the city should create a walkable, sustainable and rich human environment connected to the metropolitan networks, giving sense, locally, to a larger urban environment.
STRUCTURE: a theoretical-practical route
Starting from these assumptions the structure of the Design Studio is divided into:
- Basic lectures, oriented to the learning of the core topics;
- Application workshops, aimed to the experimental application and supported by direct testing on site
- Mid-term reviews, referred to the different stages of evolution of the project;
These collective activities include the presence of external scholars and authors of national and international reputation.
Other related activities will be proposed, such as seminars, exhibitions and conferences related to the design issues.
In synthesis, the core of the workshop is the Project, intended as a practical path, that is recognizable, conscious and oriented to a specific theme of design. During the project experience the students will cross different scales, times and fields of intervention. The workshop will deal with the matters of landscape, of shapes in space as well as of single building design. Therefore, the project will be intended as a multifunctional organism, focused on the relationship between the “architectural construction” and the “external space”, between private and collective, open and closed space, interpreted according to the different relationships among forms, materials and contents.
The workshop will be organized dividing students into work teams (from 2 up to 4), divided into three main groups, supported and coordinated by tutors (two for each group).
Each group will work on a collective area layout/masterplan proposal.
Each group will propose a mixed program.
The work involves the elaboration of sheets, models and movies for each step of the workshop.
The teaching materials are varied, complementary and will be alternatively displayed through the workshop.
MAIN LEARNING OUTCOMES:
Advanced knowledge on urban planning and architectural design and their strong interactions;
Understanding and completion of design process;
Technical and creative control upon specific design demands;
Design methodologies, creativity development and coherent representation techniques.