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I tell you a secret

Urban redevelopment of the open spaces between the Monastery of St. Francesco and the Municipal Market

  • Client:
    Diocese of Molfetta-Ruvo-Giovinazzo-Terlizzi
  • Year:
  • Type:
  • Status:
  • Team:
    archt. Fernando Russo
  • Consultants:
    archt. R. Russo, archt. F. Govoni, archt. F. Orsini
  • Surface:
    320 square meters
  • Location:
    Giovinazzo (BA) - Italy

The project has the objective to re-establish, and at the same time to return to the town, a piece of urban fabric. At present, the area turns out to be "back" both of the monastery that the market. The aim of the project is to get over the contingent nature of the choices that have occurred over time and that have established the current condition, and carry out an unitary urban space available to the uses of the city. The project aims to create a space which induces to different ways of using and not programmed, then starts from the desire to realize a complex place, unitary in identity and manifold in use.
The first step is open to the town this place set between two realities so different and important by the demolition of a wall and a metal gate. A new curtain wall surrounds the Municipal Market acting, first of all, as new scenic wing that reconfigures and reunites its fragmented spatiality. But the curtain wall is not just a new coating to "wear", but it is an element much more complex that condenses in itself that whole series of basic functions to make "habitable" a public space: the wall, briefly, is configured both as scenic wing and as "urban infrastructure".
Therefore it has to be imagined as a "habitable wall." The new curtain is at the same time both public sitting and urban lighting, it containes the necessary street furniture and the wheelchair ramp that allows the access to the covered market.
The spatial and matter unit is also reached by a “ground project” : a new paving reconfigures the open spaces and perceptually integrates with the context. A groove crosses it, producing a new spatial guiding on which engages a new seating system.
The groove take the consumer to the orange grove of the convent (now inaccessible) that will be opened and will become the new entrance of the the monastery. The groove is also compluvium, linking to the Arab tradition of hydraulic systems, and therefore reshapes the slope of the ground.
The new paving presents slight inclinations perceivable by the users, which serve to canalize the rainwater to the groove-compluvium and to reuse the harvested water.  The wall, that now surrounds the orange grove, is redesigned and open with vertical cuts and using a bascule door.  The cuts are calibrated to excite curiosity in those who are outside of the orange grove and at the same time preserve the intimate atmosphere that this place so circumscribed suggests. The border with the covered market (characterized by a difference of level)  is solved by means of a graded ramp which serves as ramp to allow the access to the disabled person.  The border, however, follows the guidelines imposed by the orange grove, thus bringing out the urban plant of the monastery. (translated by Irene Bonifacino)