LAST EDITIONS: 2010-2011

Landscape in Sequence – dwelling the wall

The third edition of the International Summer School OC - Open City identifies 3 sections of landscape in a sequence along Piacenza’s decumanus, privileged places for the application of architectural design:

1 - The fluvial landscape of the Po and the stratified infrastructures of the railroad and street axis.
2 - The urban landscape of the consolidated city including large voids of disused areas and the masonry boundries.
3 - The agricultural landscape of cultivated land with the outgrowths of the peripheral city.
Recognized as places of margin, the three areas identify three thresholds in the city:

1 - Between nature and the historical city: the Po River park. The northernmost area corresponds with the Po River banks, a potential waterfront for the city, the area where the consolidated urban fabric is confronted with the natural element - the largest Italian river - in a densely infrastructured landscape.

2 - Between the historic town and twentieth century city expansion: the city wall park. Along the southern edge of the walled center, there is a potential southern gate for the historical consolidated city, through a sequence of partially disused spaces (Farnesian Wall, Military Hospital, Castle, Arsenal) of reduced density and prevalence of void over built.

3 – Between urban expansion and cultivated land: the agricultural park. In the interval between the southern expansion of the city and the scattered fragments, the latest building density gradually gives way to a highly structured and infrastructured agricultural countryside, still resilient in both its formal guidelines (hydric lines) and in its productive inclination. Here, the city stands as a united front confronted with the horizontality of a countryside dotted by remarkable episodes.

The three intervals identify as many moments of transition between different settlement conditions, recognizable today as places of uncertainty and mediation, which will focus on the work of students in a design research capable of identifying alternative routes for the qualitative development of the city itself.