1 Abitazione Comunale: The Layers of Public and Private Space + the Modern Ideology Design 7 Project Team: Alejandra Lopez, Leslie Wheeler, Ross McClellan, Timm Schoenborn Architectural history, as defined by Manfredo Tafuri is not linear but is the continuous relationship between existing social, theoretical, and ideological conditions. Modern architecture is often tied with an ideology that suggests the rapidity of change and addresses the complexity of endless services that a structure must offer. M odernity and contemporary architecture on the local level is an ongoing process that directly relates to existing social and world powers on a large scale. The housing complex Abitazione Comunale, located in Rome, Italy, is an evolving organism th at serves the needs of its equally developing inhabitants and demonstrates the true progression of architecture: a struggle between a As the human race developed, architecture began to experience shifts and modifications to provide for the needs of the community. Coupled with the basic necessity of providing an effective living environment, architects were soon compelled to accommodate significant global issues ranging from the capitalistic takeove r to international sustainability Situated along the banks of the Tiber River, the site of the housing complex Abitazione Comunale seeks to explore the careful relationship between rapid modern development and the historic river edge. With the modern Parc o Della Musica Bridge traversing through the center of the ancient site, the main issue s soon became how the intervention could become an effectively cyclical urban space and how to organize individual needs in an urban setting. The become s synonymous with traditional Roman ideals upon
2 program analysis. With 8848 inhabitants within walking distance in one of the oldest surviving cities (aviewoncities.com), the tools of roman architecture and the history of natural forms become a driving fac tor i n the spatial and programmatic organization. Since p rescribin g a specific purpose for a space stifles urban development and limits th e opportunity to enter an urban cycle, overall attention was given to the essential components of the thriving Roman c ity: market, road, arena, hou sing, and water implementation. Preliminary plan diagrams: W heeler O ne of the most important characteristics from the ancient Roman city and past architecture that modern architecture sometimes lacks, is the ability to design a flexible space that continues to impress the community by provoking thought and encouraging interaction with the built environment. By incorporating these ideals, the opportunity arises to revolutionize the site into a complex, but rationalized interchange between the existing historic context and new modern ideologies. Since the needs of a community inevitably shift as the world evol ves, the housing complex would become an intense dialogue between the priorities of the individ uals and larger scale planning. By redefining sustainability, a self sustaining community arises that utilizes the tools of the Roman city and provide an
3 environ ment that successfully fluctuates along with the changing world. By addressing water implementation, gathering, dwelling, and communication, the built environment becomes an effective interchange between progress and rationalization (Hayes, 32). By using t he basic foundations and organizational elements, public communication and interaction were addressed in ways that could bring about an independent social and cultural hub. W ater, the main gift of the site that is found in the adjacent historic river and h eavy annual rainfall, becomes an element that drives the procession throughout the project. Since t he bu ilding of important roads provided means for faster travel across 51,000 miles of the Roman Empire (roman established within the complex to flexibly provide a public thoroughfare and means of communication. In plan, its circular procession throughout the main spaces defines the boundary of the altered river edge. Spaces are carved to draw water immediat ely inside the site to fulfill individual and community needs on several different levels. Exploded axonometric drawings of programmed spaces: Lopez By opening up certain public spaces throughout the circular Roman Road, it encourages people to continue using the s pace and keep the community organized. Using the fundamentals of architecture and redefining them based on current
4 create s a spirited discourse between what was once a typology and how it has developed since then. The design of the Roman Road attempts to architecturally reevaluate a successful way of living, as Adolf Loos suggests in Words of the Void centuries old, is more a part of us than a contemporary lie Although it is important for architects to design with the resident in mind and avoid attachment to dead ideologies, it does not mean that the context of the site should be ignored. On the contrary a community begins to build architectural significance when the community as a whole can engage the palimpsest that has been created by the layering of ideologies. In this case, the context includes the embrace of the historic significance. The main compon ents in the housing complex, including two large scale housing blocks and an occupiable plinth structure, systematically break down the large scale public spaces created by the road into semi public spaces for circulation, intimate gathering, viewing, and meditation. The Roman Road is reinforced by a new interpretation on the Roman arcade that guides the inhabitant to each programmed space. The permeable boundary provides a direct network of circulation for the inhabitants of the complex as well as free int erpretation for outside visitors. Roman Arcade: McClellan +Lopez
5 The ancient and modern ideologies working together can begin to speak to the resident and express the cultural identity that defines a community. When the inhabitant can perceive the course t hat architecture has taken over so many years, the built environment truly begin s to flourish. It is this complexity that paves the road to sustainability and a greater understanding of what is exactly necessary for the community to properly progress. In o rder to organize individual needs in an urban setting, the relationship between inhabitation and semi public space is explored in the key components of the site: the housing blocks. Comparable to modern society, the changing needs of the fluctuating ancien t Roman population demanded innovation in architecture (roman colosseum.info). For this reason, multiple public programs are placed within the structures for the provision of basic needs for inhabitants and visitors alike. The housing blocks draw the resi dent inside and encourage the visitor to dwell upon the exchange between the excitement of the exterior and the intriguing complexity of the interior. Interior + exterior relationship: Lopez
6 Recalling the arcade and public places of gathering, the blocks encourage the resident on a path of discovery and interaction. Their northwest orientation funnel prevailing winds and allow for welcoming exterior gathering spaces similar to the fundamental characteristics of the roman villa. Finding the relationship between the (Hayes 32) throughout the key housing blocks becomes a significant detail in the struggle between old and new. Along with the phy sical architectural reinterpretations of the tools of Roman architecture came the significance of the phenomenology and theory practiced by upon the site, an intricate wate r collection and aqueduct system was implemented the site by a carved section extracted from the site in the direction of the flowing water. Since comprehensive atten tion was given to the history and processes of natural forms, this symbolic welcoming of water on a large scale provides a ritualistic space and satisfies the methodical aqueduct system that operates the complex. Longitudinal site section: aqueduct syst em: Wheeler+Lopez+McClellan On an intimate scale, each housing block brings water more directly to each individual resident. Ranging from rainwater harvesting and purification to
7 meditative Roman baths, the specificities of technology and innovation allow for modern interventions that can be equal and interchangeable to the previous roman aesthetic ideologies. From this, the two cycles of production and consumption were considered in the plannin g and design of the interventions (Hayes, 28) and the restructu ring o f the urban spaces within the complex became centered on The self sufficient complex avoids the trap of the i mposing effect of capitalis m on architecture: a field in which it is only important to pr ovide for a specific need at a specific time. Axonometric drawing housing block 1: Lopez The effectiveness of the modern ideology as defined by architectural history is prevalent in the design and planning of the complex Abitazione Comunale It effectual ly takes into account past ideologies of architecture and embraces new ones as the community continues to develop. By creating a palimpsest between the new and old context, hidden truths are revealed as the site takes on a new cultural identity. Since mode rnity is an ongoing process, it is imperative to distinguish the housing complex as a place which has effectively interwoven the complexities of the layered ideologies into its program, accounted for the flexibility and rapidity of change, and taken care o f the involvement of the public into the planning and development of what can be referred to as an evolving organism. On a larger scale,
8 this m odernity is a dialogue between what the community needs and the struggle to fulfill an ideology. By relating the modern ideology to the local and global scale, architecture can become an instrument of collective integration and an ongoing process that allows the world to develop a contemporary and effective urban vision.
10 Works Cited "A View On Cities: Rome." A View On Cities Van Ermengen, 1998. Web. 14 Apr. 2012. . "Roman Empire & Colosseum." Roman Colosseum 2008. Web. 14 Apr. 2012. . Tafuri, Manfredo. "Toward a Critique of Architectural Ideology" Architecture Theory Since 1968 Ed. Michael Hayes. Cambridge: MIT, 1998. 1 35. Print.
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