RI-FORMARE MILANO 2015
New Urban Landscape
1. Foreword: a double opportunity
Ri-formare Milano is an educational project that aims to involve students and teachers in realizing design proposals for areas and buildings in state of decay and neglect, selected from the cast provided by the Municipality of Milan.
The second edition, starting with the beginning of A.A. 2014-2015,works upon the urban areas located in the western sector of the city, where the Universal Exhibition EXPO2015 "Feeding the planet, energy for life" will be held in the second half of 2015. The functional and economic dynamics this important event will set up are understood as an opportunity to foresee and propose changes in an area that during recent years has suffered a strong transformation process.
Barcelona since the Olympic Games in 1992 has gone through an important renewal of its cityscape, becoming a reference for the urban development of consolidated towns. The different proposals, mainly at the 22@ area, and the way they have been carried out, as well as the places that still have to be arranged, provide a large range of opportunities to think upon town, space and civic life in the 21st century. The fact that the responsible of this master course (Prof. Karin Hofert) comes from Barcelona invites to use the town as a case study and living laboratory.
2. Aim: the complexity of the city
The workshop will introduce to the complexity of the structure of the city.
Working in successive approaches, from city scale to architectural scale, forth and back, will allow understanding the urban form and its determining aspects: the previous ones before urbanizing, related to the shape of the territory; the ones due to infrastructure, both urban and territorial; and of course the social aspects, related to human activity and its translation to space.
Several patterns -different in geometry, size, shape and contents- collide at the mentioned areas. An opportunity to saw these contrasted realities arises; we will check in what amount the intervention on the site is capable to respond to this challenge.
The pedagogical aim is to get the skills and knowlegde to be able to propose a piece of town;
of course an extremly simplified piece, but capable to support the discussion about the relation with other parts of the town, and capable to allow the reflection on diverse building tipologies and their (physical) relations.
To achieve this aim special emphasis will be given to the understanding of space in its three dimensions. Sections, perspective drawing and models shall be used from the very beginning, understood as tools more then as result representations. The learning process, participative and experimental, will be taken very much in consideration. At the same time strategies concerning the best way to explain aims and results will be trained.
3. Topic: proposal for a new ‘Multiple sustainable city’
The specific theme of the course consists in the re-generation of a strategic urban area.
The design is called to requalify the area from a physical, social and cultural point of view (requalification of construction systems, of open spaces and of the relation network with the global urban landscape), according to different strategic decisions.
The themes to explore along the design process should be tightly connected with a ‘projective vision’ of the quality of the place, in relation to new uses, social environment and sustainable development. Careful reading and understanding of the place identity will be crucial to lead the design process to an integrated built proposal.
Focusing the site itself special attention will be paid to public and open space. Understanding that public space is what makes a town be a town, providing the space for socialisation, is a crucial point. Public space will have a direct relation with the proposed buildings, acting also as an extension to them.
As for the program, a mixed use is proposed: working, housing, facilities. Hybridisation is the key to make towns alive.
As a transversal requirement the concept of sustainability will inform any decision taken. Non sustainable architecture/urbanism is useless; infrastructure and buildings should achieve solvency and comfort by passive means as much as possible.
By working both multiscale and multiuse we persue the integration of diverse components of our discipline: landscape, technology, structure, art.
4. Interdisciplinary contributions
In coherence with the previous arguments the integration will be completed deepening in specific themes, such as:
- "Architecture of Exhibition Spaces" (Prof. Sandro Rolla), regarding the multiple significance of space, simultaneously inside and outside, linked to the inhabited forms (built urban landscape), as well as to the representation forms (aesthetic and visual landscape).
In this sense the integration of "Architecture of the Exhibition Spaces" is configured as a discipline specifically oriented to study the components of the architectural process and their relationships.
Particular attention will be given to: the arrangement of the elements in the context in relation to the form and character of the area, the distribution of the single parts in connection with the habitability of space, the clarity of content, and the construction of the technical specific components.
The relation between form and meaning in order to build up a formally and symbolically recognizable real inside-outside relationship will be specially taken in account.
In this sense we will address the issue of sustainability in reference to the project impact on the site and the resulting available savings resources.
The lessons will support the theme with different communication means including videos, quotations from relevant texts and slides.
- "Virtual space and Visual communication" (Prof. Andrea Cammarata), is oriented and directed to tie the connection between project and architecture -in the different scales of intervention- and its representation.
A great importance will be assigned to the development and evolution of the project in an ongoing relationship between digital model and physical model, as a working method.
The digital model will be also used to simulate, test and stress the architectural performance of the buildings with particular relation to energy consumption and sustainability.
5. Structure: a theoretical and practical Itinerary
- Basic lectures learning-oriented thematic nucleus;
- Applicative workshops, experimental applications, supported by case study experiments;
- Mid-term evaluations, referring to the project’s different stages of evolution.
These joint activities count with the presence of external scholars and authors of national and international reputation.
Related activities such as seminars and exhibitions, and a study-tour to Barcelona (Spain) with onsite visits and lectures, will complete the course offer.