Bari Urban Gates: Where Nature and Architecture Meet
Davide Bertugno, Alex Dechiara, Umberto Gentile, Guglielmo Giagnotti, Daniele Ragno, Marina Maddalena Tangari
Supervisors of the Thesis: prof. arch. Michele Beccu, prof. arch. Francesca Calace.
The aim of the project is to create two new central districts for business with intermodal stations in the areas where the city plan (DPP of Bari) locates urban gates. The starting point of the project is the connection between these two points of convergence, obtained by the middle streets that cross the built-up areas, over the railway. The project is composed by a complex system of punctual elements which keep together and mark the edges of empty spaces: this idea begins by reading the character of the areas as they were heads of rural zone which, by insinuating in the city, seem to be sorts of green “wedges” and change from wild to agricultural field. Those wedges are part of a wider open spaces reorganization which creates an ecological network composed of the only green spaces in the city and of the project sites.
The purpose is to establish a new order in the areas, trying to include infrastructures as parts of the operation, both adaptive and complex urban organisms, natural landscape artificialized with a slow delicate transformation, valuing the old shapes of an agricultural and craft past. The landscape project, considering the actual fields condition, is designed by following the composition of agricultural park, with different interpretations in the areas. According to the actual functions of the zones, with outstanding rural features, substantially olive trees, wild areas and small planted fields, the solutions respect the own vocation and integrate the soil modelling with the original shapes and directions of the architecture developed according to past directive lines. From a sustainable point of view, both projects explore energetic solutions that exploit natural resources: solar energy for photovoltaic and thermic system, eolic energy for natural internal ventilation (Cross Ventilation according to the Venturi Pipe theory) , geothermic energy for mechanical remote ventilation.
Who influences you graphically?
Suggestions for drawings come from several authors, including Italian 70’s architects. For example we were influenced by Superstudio and Archizoom and we are addicted by the approach of italian masterplans, such as those realized by Gianugo Polesello, in particular for the use of a halftone screen. The wireframe aesthetic derives from graphical elaborations of Salottobuono and Baukuh, whilst other representations were influenced by Dogma. Finally the small wooden models were developed as a result of the suggestions included in the piece by Alberto Campo Baeza published on Domus 972, about the possibility of controlling the project by using small human scale.
What is your process of work with regards to an image?
For each drawing we use different kinds of software. After preliminary hand sketches, we draw plans and sections on Autocad; we then elaborated 3d models through rhinoceros, rendering them with v-ray and finally editing in photoshop. The complexity of the drawing is directly proportional to that of the project: vertical and horizontal connections within the two main buildings have particular geometries so it was necessary to use different softwares in order to correctly manage structures and internal spaces.
How does colour or the lack of it help in emphasising certain aspects of the drawing?
Colour helps people understand the materiality of a project, while the lack of it is useful to focus the attention on the whole project, not only on particulars. According to this idea we selected a range of colors from green to blue, that could emphasize the important presence of vegetation integrated within the constructions. This choice was determinant in helping to emphasise those aspects we wanted to improve, describing how the starting conditions could be enforced by using the same characteristics that already were part of the environment, even completely changing their meaning, with a comparison before-after of the areas.
Throughout the project description you focus on the relationship between architecture and the environment but however neglect to mention people and their perception of this urban intervention. How do the graphics compensate and show the usage of space created and the atmosphere of the architecture?
The idea of focusing in particular on the relationship between architecture and environment was the starting point of the whole work. We were interested in showing how buildings could be connected with nature in order to improve the conditions of the two suburban and abandoned areas: currently Bari has only few places characterized by green areas, so that to increase the environmental aspect was one of the most important aim of the project. In this general condition we tried to show how the small human scale could be connected with the great buildings scale. The will was to graphically express how spaces could be changed with an appropriate usage of the area influencing flows and times in moving throughout the city.