urban limits and intervals 2009

Urban limits and intervals for the definition of public open urban spaces in Area Trucca, Bergamo (2009)

Group members: Jun Ho Chen, Andrea Cristelli, Davide Ferrari, Stefanie Leontiadis, Igor Noev, Giuseppe Santacroce.   Tutors: Cassandra Cozza, Francesca Schepis                                                                                       International Phd Summer School, Bergamo, July 2009                                                                                          – ‘Projects, strategies and research for the contemporary city’  (2009)
(text and sketches by Stefanie Leontiadis)


sketches above: expressing the relationship between the open spaces and the built entities
In the midst of the urban problem of defining a series of public open urban spaces on the boundary and challenging peripheral void of the lower city of Bergamo, the project workshop touches upon topics of the public space that are discussed in this thesis.  The experimentation includes syntactical solutions that relate to the problems of modernity and partly refer to the burst of the CIAM 8 movement of articulating city cores.  Through the analysis of this paradigmatic journey of CIAM 8 through Team 10 and all their relevant projects referring to the problem of the public open urban space, one finds recapitulating challenges and solutions that struggle to fight the predicament of insecurity in the urban periphery.   Some solutions demonstrated here follow the trends and syntactic patterns of themes discussed.


sketches above: expressing the relationship between the open spaces and the built entities
Concentrating on themes of positional values, urban facts, public elements and spaces of living, the conceptual theme of the project immediately tries to make reference to the historical essence of the city of Bergamo in relationship to the countryside and consolidated voids in question.  Through the use of paths, matrices and perceptual studies of the vertical leyers of the city from the periphery, the aim is to interpret the open void as an expanding element of the suburb that through construction and the use of framing and structural visual characteristics and themes, retains its direct relationship to the urban life.
The following images present an analysis of the project’s area, and also a photographic series of imagery that analyzes the perceptual characteristics, looking for relationships and meanings, affiliations to the ground, and points of reference for means of orientation and wider possibilities of articulation on the larger scale.
This analysis draws close reference on information availability and open space minimalism considerations, where also the role of the infrastructure is considered.
In summary, and in reference to the area of the project, this study considers;
– the urban margins as a form of geographical framing
– the topographical ‘logic of the limit’
– the railway and the relationship of the potential public open urban spaces to the infrastructure, and
– the availability of information in relationship to the new hospital, the new station, the road and the perceptual linkage to the visibility of the higher city and its historical significance.
The theme suggested gradually is that of fragmented living, with visual semiotic relationships to the surrounding strong landscape, including domestic greenhouses, selective neighborhoods and via Moroni.
The composition of the project includes a smaller scale residential unit for students and professors of short stay accommodation, linking to the theme of an ever-changing peripheral boundary of the city situation and the urge for movement, expansion, dilation, and penetration. Borrowing the forms of the public open urban spaces of leaking, these small dwellings ‘leak’ into each other, with the incorporation of shared open spaces of a privatized nature, and the large common public open urban space, which takes the artistic form of the ‘spazio espositivo’. This element of repeating shapes and figures almost takes the characteristics of a land art approach, while using the ground for forming patterns of relationships and meanings.


sketches above: expressing figuratively the open spaces of the urban residences
In section, is shown the elevated mass of the artistic ground figure of the public open space, offering an effect of ‘arte povera’ and ground minimalism to this peripheral dwelling, where residency is intertwined with public pedestrian circulation, and direct affiliation to the land. The consideration of the human scale is of crucial importance, referring to Walter Gropius’ theoretical considerations of “The Human Scale” article of the CIAM 8 congress (1952), which also involves the problem of public interaction and city dwelling taking place at the same time.


sketches above: urban greens, kilometer straights, Bergamo urban density expression


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