Vulcanica in Naples
"For Naples we have proposed dreams and built fragments, our Factory of Ideas."
What kind of role architects can play for the city of Naples?
Naples is a wonderful city, but also violent and with no maintenance.
Naples still lets citizens live in "bassi" (very small flats beside the alleys of the historical center) and immigrants in unhealthy slums.
How could we expect a civil behavior from these people?
To many people architecture is unnecessary or naively utopian, sometimes eccentric, maybe beautiful but always far from reality. Architectural practice is often dissolved in virtual renders and then forgotten or it becomes dangerous while proposing buildings made by ugly and boring square blocks to answer in a schematic way to specific problems of the site.
What if architects would be able to satisfy the wishes of clients, the needs of society and the necessity of beauty and utility that are the essence of our work?
Can we build together a civilized city where people behavior could become better than today?
So architects, entrepreneurs, private and public customers let's answer with "fifty" architectural projects for the city, let's do this 'fifty' shared architectures: they should be as new as the behavior we would like to induce in people by transforming urbanity.
Let's try to build our utopia: design for Naples, realize contemporary buildings, beautiful and able to solve urban, socio-economic and environmental problems.
We have decided to stay here, instead of "fuire" (escaping), we have worked for over twenty years in the city where we want to live instead of sending to hell the context believing that to be good citizens we have to contribute to build our city.
It took courage and recklessness because Naples on one hand is a city able to give you back all the good that you can do for it (it gave us a beautiful family and a wonderful job, deep human emotions and intense urban excitements), on the other hand Naples can suddenly steal you everything, without any warning the city is able to isolate professionals from every transforming process and decision-making or even worse it shoots you with stray bullets and crumbling cornices.
Our wonderful city has not been always congested, polluted or dangerous, it has become like that because of years of great neglect. Naples has been able to build wonders: castles in the water and strong funiculars, it has been able to conquer sea and mountains, to realize neighborhoods of great qualities and daring buildings, ancient and modern, and now, it seems to be afraid of any change, we have to rebuild it in safer cleaner and smarter way.
Citizens and especially architects should discover again the pride of our work: we have the ability and responsibility to ensure that our old city won’t force us to live into a backward system or rather that Naples will finally comply with the innovative way in which we’re necessarily living in the future which is "the only place we can go."
Naples: "..great city: it goes down for an hour to the sea, I'll never forget neither Toledo Street, nor any other parts of Naples; in my eyes Naples is, with no comparison, the most beautiful city of the universe "(Stendhal Naples, January 11, 1817). Naples, a Paradise where devils live.
It happens in Naples_1: Camorra sets on fire and destroys the buildings of "Science City", symbol of redemption and knowledge.
It happens in Naples_2: the underground construction of the "most beautiful subway in Europe" causes the collapse of the city above.
It happens in Naples_3: the government shoots down modern architecture wich is held responsible for the degradation, this is like "burning" witches.
It happens in Naples_4: the gang war, rival clans divide the territory, baby-gangs kill, both in the center and in the suburbs.
It happens in Naples_5: Ancient mistreated buildings take revenge, edges crumble leaving victims on the road.
It happens in Naples_north: a road bridge that links the "suburbs" to the "center" was interrupted for too many years, that historical place has turned into a "drug dealing square", during our work we had to shun bloody syringes, so we imagined the "suspended" bridge on concrete monoliths that are so inclined to step aside syringes, traffic, muggers, chaos and noise, leaving wrote on the wall "YES I KNOW MY WAY", Pino Daniele blues, a message of hope, for what you can do there now "YES": skateboarding, jogging, playing, dancing, or simply dreaming, looking at the planes take off from the nearby airport, against architecture also indicates what not to do "NOT". The bridge is a giant useful work of street "furniture".
It happens in Naples_East: the recovery of a large abandoned factory in the post-industrial area, where there was a ''prostitution area", a strong resistance of reality, physical and will disruption; a so large construction in a so difficult area is a trench for architects. In the past the old factory, all closed on itself, produced mechanical parts under the blast furnace fumes making a lot of noise; now it is a new factory of ideas between water and trees planted right into the heart of the building. I's a symbolic buildingl of the industrial suburbs that had devoured every green surface rejecting the natural elements from the city; now it welcomes light, water, air, land and people who come back to that part of town. Brin69 contains a high symbolic and social redemption value.
It happens in Naples_Centre: we have designed a fragment of the great port, where the historic town touches the sea. A borderland between our history and our geography. We have built a public square, where million passengers go through, travelers, migrants, tourists. An "invisible" web of human and urban flows is materialised with different and unpredictable uses at different times of the day and at night. "Overboard Square" represents the desire to open the port to the city, a set of columns that bend towards the sea, a tangle of figures, a hollow cantilevered floors that show the transition between the city and the water, a project that seems want to "leave", the first and indispensable step, to "come back".
It happens in Naples_South: large construction sites in the city, endless and interrupted, incompatible in times with the human life, subtract whole parts of the most beautiful city to people of the present. In Vigliena, on the sea, the big project of construction of the seaside has been suspended for years, nowadays among the ruins of old factories, shipyards swept away and the large thermal power plant is "hovering" Camorra, fishermen and unemployed workers. We have designed in the area of the abandoned construction a temporary city, linked to the sea, made of discarded containers, to give back the city to the inhabitants. 500 recycled shipping containers are sufficient for the Temporary City. Temporary interventions may become "viral" in the most sensitive points of the city, "urban acupuncture" to heal.