Rethinking The Continuous/Discontinuous City
Pierluigi Bardi & Benedetta De Mitri
The aim of the project is to rethink the limits and the thickness of the continuous/discontinuous city starting from the abandoned places, where time has stopped. The project wants to formulate theoretical ideas about a new modernity, develop an example that does not recall an already known industrial modernity, whilst managing and not only contrasting the current decline.
The project is rooted in Taranto, Italy. It is an industrial centre considered an icon of the south of Italy due to the economic boom in the 60’s. Nowadays it is a Shrinking City, which belongs to a group of socially and economically decaying cities. The city’s negative connotations are a result of industry and unemployment, pollution, and politics. Words such as entropy, waste, crisis have become a part of the identity of the city.
The project proposes rewriting these places as a critical act of deconstructing and reconstructing of the degraded materials of the context. It will implement the conceptual reversal of the modernist paradigm “Form follows Function” in “Function follow Form”, when the form of pre-existing architecture suggests function.
The ground is understood as ‘Palinsesto’, as stratified matter, as a continuous deposit of deposit over time. It is a territory deeply composed. The main action of this project is to reveal.
Within the city there are areas considered as urban waste. One of these is the Oil Factory located in the industrial area in Taranto.
The project can be understood as a “Manifesto” and it consists in a Scientific Technology Centre created by the need of flipping the paradigm of “Taranto polluted city” into “Taranto as a city of pollution research”. The centre covers the field of technological innovation required in the environmental field by acting in several ways: the study of techniques of analysis and recovery of contaminated sites, the training of professional experts, the arrangement of a technological platform and logistics for the industrial relaunch. It is oriented towards different economies and compared to heavy industry and more attentive to the needs of the territory.
The industrial compound of Oil Factory provides the appropriate location for: spaces for analysis and research (laboratories), for teaching (classrooms, auditorium and library), restaurant, student residences and start-up.
Who influences you graphically?
We have many graphical references. For this project, our graphic approach was influenced by the work of architects such as Eisenmann, Valerio Olgiati, Kgdvs, Bauckuh, Beniamino Servino, Fala Atelier, U67. We tried to discover a new way to represent. It was an opportunity to go through a style which could meet and define the proposal.
To what extent does the format of square/ circle inform your proposal?
We started exactly with the format of the circles. We supposed that in the past there were silos used to store oil. From here, we figured out each silos could be a “room” of the library. It implemented the conceptual reversal of the modernist paradigm “Form follow Function” in “Function follow Form”, when the form of pre-existing architecture suggests function. We chose to keep these shapes because they reminded what happened in the past. We didn’t want to distort the historical image and spirit of this space. Then, the project proposes rewriting these places as a critical act of deconstruction and reconstruction of degraded materials of the context.
What is the effect and purpose of a monochromatic palette for the more technical drawings?
We think monochromatic palette is the best way to explain very clear drawing, especially technical ones. It is clean, tidy and essential.
How does the use of fragments from other narratives help you structure your own?
Similarly to Peter Eisenman’s dedicated research not he city in the 80’s, even our Professor, Fabio Alessandro Fusco, studied this machine and its relation to the landscape. Today cities cannot expand; rather architects should work with the existing. Moreover the ground is understood as Palinsesto, as stratified matter, as an elements deposit along the time. It is a territory deeply composed. This is the reason why we chose to work with the ground and we can even explain why the main action of this project is “to reveal”.
How could the themes of rewriting and revealing been xomplored more graphically?
We think that the axonometric shows really well how the different layers compose the project. We highlighted with a different colour the original format of the silos.The first step was to measure the existing, like the format of the circles and the steel warehouse. The reading helped us to maintain, to reveal and then to assign a new function.