KUKëS: FORMS OF LAKE’S CITY
Gianluca Cosimo Iaia, Sonia Paciolla Francesca Papa, Maura Pinto & Piervito Pirulli_Bari University of Architecture
The city of Kukes is located in a strategical position, linking the major urban centers of Albania and also of the neighbour nations, notably Kosovo. This important location is a fundamental element for the development of connections with external territories, especially the link between the inner part of the continent and the coast.
Fierza’s lake is important in terms of the use of water as a clean, sustainable and renewable resource. A water’s system of infrastructure could create a network trough a montainous territory. The project is based on the belief that the territory and the contemporary city should be built through an architectural project. The aim is to check if the project could work differently and if it could take the dynamics developed over time. The idea is to create strategies able to add, select and debate about the “waste” rather than leaving it out as a not matter. The purpose is to introduce a new settlement model and to give a new profile to the territory trough the increasing the value and equipping nature. The project is composed by a complex system of punctual elements which keep together and mark the edges of empty spaces.
The solutions respect the site’s own vocation and integrate the new elements becoming part of them. The contrast between the definition of the space and the continuous accumulation of matter, which is represented by an anthropic system, brings to project the territory and the city toward sceneries in which the suspension areas are a good possibility to implement. The complexity of these areas management, however, expects economic, social and ecological changes, requiring a reasoned definition and planning. Here the project is presented in its role of meaningless areas producer. Much more it is investigated when it is worried about fixing rather than dividing, modifying its process to unveil rather than denying.
Modifying the condition of the places to make known the use of the “waste”, when it wants to use it as a new ground to work with. The changeable and multifarious nature of this place is defined by the will to not trap the theme in an account. Building means to work together with the ground and contributing to the slow transformation of the life of the city itself. Working with time in its aspect of the “past”, getting the spirit and modifying it towards a longer future.
The construction of the idea of a city made up of several sections which contrast with the green system, is implemented starting from the definition of the system appearance: intensifying the single identities which characterize the urban pattern in functional terms. In this landscape, what is very valuable is not the evident beauty but its configuration as “unique” that is nothing else than cultural. It seems so important to reconquer the useless areas , the “waste” that is subject to the chance to give to the city a huge space for spare time. It reminds the lecorbuseriane’s cities sketches framed inside the public parks.
The architectural project claims to combine the city shapes with its interior spaces compared to the huge dimension of the external places of Nature. A new idea of a city, in which there will be connections between huge- space places able to evoke urban condition and expanded, empty, often disused spaces that will allow to live spaces never appraised. The same and new idea of a city in which construction shapes do not move away but on the contrary they will interpret the natural shapes of the landscape and the territory together with those of the anthropological transformation.
For this reason it is necessary that the project recreates the urban construction principles opposing a new order and limit to the formless condition of the city.
Who influences you graphically?
Personally, we don’t just have one graphical point of reference which has influenced our works because our inspiration could comes from everything. In this case, these images are the result of our research on the site, so they derive from the perception of the landscape and the relationship with the local land. We’ve never been close to a representational style but always looking for something different to involve our capacity and try to arouse new emotions, which get the spectator to understand the project’s meaning. Before taking up the graphic side, the final yield is already in our heads. The style to be adopted is never decided before because the project, the environment or just one particular inspires us and let us realize what is better to do each time . We have only one rule: to be as easy and clear as possibile to let the observer focus on what the drawing has to show, avoiding the risk to get lost in the image. However, our graphic takes form from various suggestion by different authors, Italian rationalism current first, but also Italian 60-70’s architects, first of all Giorgio Grassi.
You use a lot of texture within your images, does this hint to specific materials or does it help in establishing specific atmospheres?
The role of textures, according to us, is set between two opposite sides of representational theory: the first one is the reality because the texture helps the viewer to face the material component of the architecture that he has in front of him. A render must aspire to an absolute beauty, but never forgetting to keep it real. It can’t be only abstract because the architecture is also made up by materials which provide the awareness how it is built. On the other side the texture makes the image less flat, gives the possibility to shape an atmosphere and emphasize the power of image trough the colors contrast. A perfect dosage of the two components is essential.
You explore your proposal through aerial and perspective views, to what extent might the classic plan and section limit the representation of the proposal?
The architectural representation needs every kind of drawing, from the classic plan and section to the perspective view because every one of these tell something different. There are things that can’t be said without the right drawing, moreover nothing can be summed up in just one drawing. Surely the perspective is more suggestive for the viewer as it places him in the conditions to image himself in what he is watching and it creates an emotional link between him and what the architect has thought. The project area is characterized by a deeply difference level between the city and the lake, so the only way to appreciate this gap and the solution that this problem have evoke was to represent some part of the project with aerial views.
You seize to show people within your views, why so?
Every time, we try to avoid to show people in our image in order to leave room for the viewer’s imagination to think himself into the scene. Especially when we have to emphasize a component such as the nature, we put it on the center of our render and it’s enough to fill the scene and to get the observer excited and to establish an atmosphere based only on the elements. There’s no reason to distract the attention from what is important, according to the drawer’s aim. The images want to evoke the peace and the silence of this places and the introduction of objects or people could remove this condition of “ fixed moment”.