Territory, Beauty and Monument
Territory, Beauty and Monument _ Silvio Carta
Every new human intervention in the landscape triggers a transformation of the pre-existent condition. Once built, the new architectural object has the power of re-establishing new balances and hierarchies. With the passage of time the project becomes utterly part of the landscape and is recognised as an integral part of it. To this extent one may argue that the way we perceive the landscape and the objects in it, with their symbolic, spatial and visual relationships, is simply a question of time. Stonehenge is perhaps a self-evident example of this idea. Once the giant monoliths were erected, they characterised the surrounding vista and –along the centuries- this remarkable monument blurred within the image of its landscape.
This section discusses four Visitor Centers which –although in different ways- circle around the same goal: to provide a building that welcomes and informs the visitors of a near remarkable cultural, historical or natural monument. At the same time, they protect the memory of the monuments they are devoted to, and collect the studies and the local stories about them. From a different point of view, they also provide a new element in the history of their landscape by juxtaposing to it. This chapter tries to illustrate how these new buildings relate to their monuments, reflecting –at the same time- about how they become part of their landscapes.
Polyvalence beyond Flexibility
Accommodating Differences: Polyvalence Beyond Flexibility _ Nelson Mota
From the 1960s on flexibility and polyvalence gained currency as tokens of architectural bravura. Flexible plans, for example, resonated with an idea of open architecture, or in other words, with the empowerment of the user. Polyvalence, for its part, echoed a design strategy that resisted determinism and avoided the shortcomings of dogmatic and naive functionalism. Buildings could thus evolve through time and accommodate different uses and/or different ways of using. Interestingly, one of the most cherished buildings of those days was Diocletian’s Palace built in the fourth century AD in Split, Croatia. Over time, the residence of the Roman emperor fell into ruins and eventually it was transformed into a full-fledged village, with its own share of houses, shops, and streets like any other village. The closed form of the palace became an open urban structure. In architectural design, this case challenged a straightforward vision of flexibility and polyvalence, which influenced the design of several programs, from housing through cultural facilities to institutional buildings.
Corporate Side Sofa
Creativity at Work! _ Marco Atzori
Increasingly, it is necessary to reflect on the relationship between changes in economic and social systems and disciplines such as architecture and urbanism. These transformations, ever faster and more incisive, have not always found an immediate response in architectural thinking or planning, but even without considering didactic simplifications there have been areas in which changes have been clear and substantial.
When, in 1985, Frank Gehry designed the headquarters for the advertising agency Chiat / Day, he may not have imagined the trend that now, 20 years later, has become evident: Workplaces of the tertiary sector, creativity, information technology, in agreement with the evolution of the world economic model, have changed radically.
All these are places in which informal organization prevails over a hierarchical system, in which recreational activities, relaxing, sharing, and exchange processes become substantial elements of the new way of producing. Often the headquarters of new-economy companies are characterized as ideal places to work and from which to play a leadership role in terms of applying sustainability practices to architecture.
Naturally Low _ Simone Corda
All the typical various ways of approaching a project seem to be narrowed down by architects when they are facing a site characterized by a strong natural component. This is something so common as to establish a trend, which can be characterized by the adjective LOW.
A low height building that does not interfere with the landscape lines, two superimposed boxes standing lightly on the ground, a house that is shaped around a stream and another one that is created enclosing the space in a forest are all results of a LOW proactive approach towards the environment.
Low can be associated with several terms, in order to depict physical configurations, the extent of the impact on the land, attitudes towards the land, but the real message that is within this word is that is possible to obtain marvellous architecture through the respect of nature as a leading concept in the design process.