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Ecology, Heritage and Conservation of the "Gioia del Tirreno" touristic village © Sara Kandil

Ecology, Heritage and Conservation of the "Gioia del Tirreno" touristic village

“The project concerns the expansion of a cultural heritage site — a tourist complex on the Tyrrhenian coast built in 1972 by the architect Pierfilippo Cidonio and the landscape architect Pietro Porcinai.
«Gioia del Tirreno», a village created with the aim of environmental restoration, is based on the concept of the creation of a vast garden created from nothing in a desert area. The context is represented in a coastal strip of touristic villages protected from the sea wind by the pine forest. The complex is now closed and largely degraded. Being a cultural heritage site and having an expansion area that was never built, the intent of the project is to create the expansion with a new, more sustainable, and more experimental interpretation based on existing typologies, with the aim of also preserving the original village and involving the community through a public park in the pine forest area integrated with the village. The concept develops on the tendency of nature to invade, as seen in the current state of the village, in which the invasion comes from not only the village itself but also from external forces (the pine forest) that breaks through the architectural barrier.

The project includes four main zones:

The cells, designed to accommodate around 400 people, and made with a more sustainable approach using the structure of xlam. They maintain the same grid of the old cells but without the closed court layout. The concept is to break the fourth wall, in which the courts appear to open up. Their layout also demonstrate the possibility of future expansion according to the modular aggregation principle that was followed in the old village.

The gallery, which serves as an access point to the village, acts as a continuation of the existing gallery’s structural axis, composed of beams that take the circular shape of the old structure and begin to deform it depending on the situation. The extension aims to be more sustainable by using the structure of glulam. The main services, information points, and exhibition spaces are located in the gallery, behind which extend two central axes that lead to the rest of the village.

The ecological pool is an ecosystem made up of several ponds and a stream with water lilies. The main pool itself is natural and contains water-purifying plants (phytoplankton), which remove bacteria and contaminants. The swimming pool represents a central motif for Pietro Porcinai.

The landscape of the project is represented in the beachfront, the pine forest, the buffer zone of ‘landscape pockets’, up to the transcendence into more orderly plants that dissipate against the architectural force of the gallery, the paths that extend through these layers also aim to translate this transcendence.”.