WINNERS

2021 Arch. Alessandro Livraghi, Italy
2020 Arch. Diego Conradin Vincenz Perez,
2019 Arch. Elena Pozzoli, Italy
2018 Arch. Juliette Blatter, France
2017 Arch. Yuan Zhimin, China
2016 Arch. Alice Valtellino, Italy
2015 Arch. Geng Tian, China
2014 Arch. Nicola Andreani, Switzerland
2013 Arch. Lorenzo Roberto Pini, Italy
2012 Arch. Matteo Rapazzini, Italy
2011 Arch. Stefanie Häusler, Switzerland
2010 Arch. Jessica Stuecklin, Switzerland
2009 Arch. Chloe Portelette, France
2008 Arch. Francesco Ricci, Italy
2007 Arch. David Bellasi, Switzerland
2006 Arch. Alessandro Martinelli, Italy
2005 Arch. Anna Medeossi, Italy
2004 Arch. Mitsunori Sano, Japan
2003 Arch. Lidor Gil-Ad, Israel
2002 Arch. Claudia Scholz, Germany

Architect Alessandro Livraghi, Italy

file_download  download curriculum (.pdf)

Academic jear 2020-2021

Atelier: Frédéric Bonnet

Project: Phronesis. Climate Design and Radical Indigenism

Members of the jury

Arch. Stanislaus von Moos, Arch. Francesca Torzo, Arch. Pierre Alain Croset, Prof. Howard Burns, Cosimo Filippini

Motivation

La Giuria del Premio Boni ha constatato l’alto livello dei progetti di Diploma di quest’anno e la grande qualità dei documenti preparatori elaborati dal Prof. Frédéric Bonnet, che hanno offerto molte diverse possibilità di declinare il tema: "FIrminy. Post utopia, an architectural fiction". Tra i 46 migliori progetti, già premiati con il massimo dei voti, il lavoro sviluppato da Alessandro Livraghi spicca per l’intelligenza e profondità della ricerca, per la chiarezza e qualità estetica delle mappe, diagrammi e disegni architettonici, e soprattutto per la maturità dimostrata in tutti i testi e negli elaborati grafici. Diversamente da un tradizionale progetto architettonico che si conclude con l’elaborazione di un edificio, la sua Tesi è concepita come un sofisticato dispositivo di ricerca che pone al centro dell’attenzione i grandi temi ambientali legati al cambio climatico e propone concrete strategie di azione a scala territoriale. La brillante proposta di considerare il Massif Central come un’immensa "macchina di flussi energetici" non viene affrontata in termini solo ingegneristici: le acque rigenerate nel progetto alimentano immagini architettoniche di possente valore figurativo.

The diploma work theme

Firminy. Post-utopia, una finzione architettonica.*

Il Diploma 2021 sarà sviluppato a partire da Firminy, icona dell’approccio concettuale all’architettura e alla città elaborato dal Movimento Moderno. Il Il quartiere di Firminy-Vert, oggi patrimonio mondiale dell’Unesco, venne progettato in una città ancora industriale a metà degli anni Cinquanta, durante la ricostruzione postbellica, cui fece seguito l’intervento di Le Corbusier.
L’odierno stato della città combina l’ordinario — la «città normale» come direbbe Richard Sennett — con lo straordinario, banalità e junkspace, come pure opere eccezionali e generosi brani paesaggistici; un sistema urbano di media scala associato a un forte rapporto con la campagna e l’hinterland periurbano.
Partendo da Firminy proponiamo un esperimento, una finzione architettonica, una visione alternativa e aggiornata del “sogno” modernista alimentata dal feedback accumulatosi nel corso degli ultimi cinque decenni e dalle problematiche contemporanee. Invece di considerare la situazione esistente come contesto del Diploma, intendiamo: 1) avviare una riflessione che partendo dalla situazione venutasi a creare a metà degli anni Sessanta si volga in prospettiva; 2) estendere i confini dell’indagine dal sito modernista di Firminy fino ai suoi sviluppi territoriali interdipendenti, dal nucleo in restringimento della vicina Saint-Etienne alla campagna periurbana.
Ai fini dell’esperimento, non penseremo a ciò che sarebbe dovuto accadere, bensì a quello che sarebbe potuto accadere, come in un sistema aperto di sviluppo alternativo, dove l’architettura suggerisce gli esiti di molteplici situazioni interdipendenti: la città post-industriale e il suo nucleo in contrazione, il centro stesso di Firminy-Vert e l’intervento di Le Corbusier, che rimane intatto come un chiostro cistercense, i resti industriali, i villaggi vicini progressivamente densificati, le mete e le principali strutture collettive, le infrastrutture e la campagna, che un tempo faceva da sfondo romantico ai capolavori modernisti e che è diventata l’estensione naturale dello stile di vita urbano e del suo sistema di risorse.

Atelier professori responsabili

  • Francisco e Manuel Aires Mateus
  • Walter Angonese
  • Michele Arnaboldi
  • Valentin Bearth
  • Riccardo Blumer
  • Martin Boesch
  • Frédéric Bonnet
  • Marc Collomb
  • Kersten Geers
  • Bijoy Jain
  • Quintus Miller
  • João Nunes e João Gomes da Silva
  • Valerio Olgiati
  • Muck Petzet
  • Jonathan Sergison

* Fonte: arc.usi.ch, didattica, diploma

Firminy. Post utopia, an architectural fiction.*

Diploma 2021 will be developed from Firminy, an icon of the modern movement’s conceptual approach to architecture and the city. Firminy-Vert was designed in the mid-fifties in a still industrial city, during post-war reconstruction, followed by Le Corbusier’s work, now a Unesco world heritage site.
This urban situation combines the ordinary – the “normal city” as Richard Sennett would say – together with the extraordinary, banality with “junkspace”, as well as exceptional pieces and generous landscape features, a medium-scale urban system with a strong relationship with its countryside and peri-urban hinterland.
From this, we propose an experiment, an architectural fiction, an updated counter-vision of the modernist “dream” nurtured by the feedback that the last five decades and the contemporary challenges suggest. Instead of taking the existing situation as the Diploma context, we want to 1/ launch reflection on a prospective basis from the situation in the mid sixties, 2/ extend the boundaries from the modernist site of Firminy to its interdependent territorial features, from the shrinking core of nearby Saint-Etienne to the peri-urban countryside.
Through this experiment, we will not be thinking about what should have happened, but about what could have happened, as an open system of alternative development, where architecture gives outcomes to manifold interdependent situations: the post-industrial city and its shrinking core, the very heart of Firminy-Vert and Le Corbusier’s work, which remains untouched like a Cistercian cloister, the industrial remains, the nearby villages progressively densified, the main collective hotspots and facilities, the infrastructures, the countryside, which used to be the romantic background to the modernist masterpieces and has become the natural extension of an urban lifestyle and resource system.

Design Studios Professors in Charge

  • Francisco e Manuel Aires Mateus
  • Walter Angonese
  • Michele Arnaboldi
  • Valentin Bearth
  • Riccardo Blumer
  • Martin Boesch
  • Frédéric Bonnet
  • Marc Collomb
  • Kersten Geers
  • Bijoy Jain
  • Quintus Miller
  • João Nunes e João Gomes da Silva
  • Valerio Olgiati
  • Muck Petzet
  • Jonathan Sergison

* Source: arc.usi.ch, courses, diploma

About this project

What is a sustainable effort to deal with climatic changes?

My project is not just a manufact but the whole process and strategies to answer this ques-tion. The Greek word Phronesis represents the meeting point between theoretical knowl-edge and practical knowledge and therefore I think it best represents the hybrid approach I would like to propose in this volume.

The main issue related to sustainability is mainly commonality and the kind of architecture which is required is an Architecture of Percolation. It raises from a civic action, providing to community tools to manage, unlock and activate resources creating a public face that it is able to attract processes and new habits. But it also requires an effort of adaptation, aware-ness, education and taking responsibilities. This last aspect is crucial because when respon-sibilities are well distributed also maintaining the system costs less. Understanding which are the Commons, the limits and conditions to access to them was the first thing I did. I studied climates and the topological conditions of the landscape to understand where to act and in which way. I focused on the local phenomena of water and winds conceiving the Massif Central as a huge natural machine of flows. During the analysis I detected the most sensible points: The Cradle and The Gate. The first one is a key point into the complex water system of the region, protagonist of huge floods events during centuries, and is located at a natural corridor that channels the wind. The second represents the more urban face of the project as it is attached to Firminy; it is a large disused industrial area to be reclaimed.

The main climate preview for the future is quiet a paradox: global warming will cause, during cold seasons, an increasing of catastrophic events, due to the more frequent Episode Cevenol (linked to the inefficiency of the existing water retention system); in warm seasons, drought unbearable heat in cities and lack of pastures (which are crucial for the current agricultural system).

Everything orbits around safeguarding of wetlands because in the paradox the solution lies into the problem: collecting efficiently the water in cold seasons in order to use it during warm periods. Focusing on the clever use of natural resources avoiding mechanical engines and dissipation of energy was one of my main issues, together with building a solid network of rules and cooperation.

The project acts in different scales, first of all the territorial one. The main idea is to create a climatic infrastructure and microclimatic pockets to improve wetlands and water manage-ment. In this effort the ethnographic approach of many cases was crucial. The result is a big machine of channels and collecting basins, built into the most suitable spots, which gener-ates a functional and connective system which bring together all the devices.

The Cradle gives me the opportunity to rethink how agriculture has to be redefined to meet new climatic changes; The Gate instead gives me the opportunity to act on an urban fabric redefining the concept of public space. The idea is to transform the old industrial area into a climatic lung for Firminy, collecting the water from the mountains, which is the main cause of urban floods, and ventilating following the wind axes.

The whole management effort of the new devices will contribute to reach an autonomous awareness into Governing the Commons.

Documentazione aggiuntiva

file_download scarica Architecture of Commons, resume (.pdf)
file_download scarica Architettura dei Commons, riassunto (.pdf)
file_download scarica Phronesis. Climate Design and Radical Indigenism, book (.pdf)

Video di presentazione

Project drawings

© Copyright Academy of Architecture Mendrisio / Architectural project by Alessandro Livraghi / Architectural model images by Alberto Canepa.