News: Italian architects Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas have won a competition to transform the central railway area of Bari, a city in southern Italy, with a proposal to build a three-kilometre-long elevated park over the track.
The winning design, a collaboration between Fuksas and architect Jordi Henrich I Monràs, stretches over an area of 78 hectares and is centred around a large park that will pass over the railway and offer promenade views over the city and the sea.
The project will also provide Bari with a new cultural centre spread across the former Rossani barracks. Existing buildings will be restored and turned into a public library, an exhibition space, municipal offices and workshops for artists, actors and academics.
A new elliptical building with a wood facade will house a 1000-capacity auditorium adaptable to concerts, theatre performances, film screenings and exhibitions, while underground parking will be provided on the northern edge of the park near the railway station.
In the south-west corner of the park, alongside Bari's existing Auditorium Nino Rota, the architects propose to enlarge the city's music conservatory with a new auditorium and teaching rooms as well as an area for outdoor concerts.
Last month the Fuksas duo won a competition for the Moscow Polytechnic Museum and Educational Centre with a design consisting of four copper-clad elements, while in January they completed a new building for the National Archives of France – see all architecture by Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas.
In 2011, a two-and-a-half mile-long elevated park called The High Line opened on abandoned railway along 22 blocks of downtown Manhattan, while last year Danish architects BIG completed a project to place a 750-metre-long carpet of grass and rubber through Copenhagen – see all parks and gardens.
Here's some more information from the architects:
International competition for the "Baricentrale railway area", Italy, won by Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas + Jordi Henrich I Monràs
Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas along with Jordi Henrich I Monràs have won the international competition for the design of the railway area "Baricentrale".
The international competition launched by the Municipality of Bari, aimed to promote the transformation of the city, using the reorganisation of the railway area which has long acted as a rift that cuts through the city, as the starting point for its transformation. The site of the project stretches over an area of 78 hectares which is divided into 7 segments.
The decision of the jury in choosing the winning design team came about on the basis of the following main reasons: the ability to fully respond with consistency and quality to the primal need of the city, that of reconnecting the two “sides” of the railway area which have been split apart for so long; the integration of buildings situated on the two sides, through the realisation of a large elevated park; the introduction of an increase of the current building density, balanced and well distributed between the different compartments; the proposal having a high level of environmental sustainability as its main characteristic.
The project signed by Studio Fuksas desires to solve the issue of the fracture of the city of Bari in a radical way through the design of a large city park with promenade views of the city and the sea, which acts as the connective tissue of the entire project. Without burying the rail track, the project aims at the rebirth of a strongly degraded area and pass through a large elevated park, 3 km long with an east-west bike path. A big lung which will double the amount of green for inhabitants, from the current 2.7 m to 5.1 m ab / ab.
The sub-sector of the barrack Rossani, composed of 5 buildings has been assigned an important role. It will become the cultural centre of the city of Bari with spaces for social gatherings in a green area. Existing buildings will be restored without altering the architectural shape. Their function will be related to culture and arts. The building positioned at the center of the park (1400 square meters) will host the municipal offices. The building D will host workshops for artists and fellows of the Academy of Fine Arts in Bari; the building E (2930 sqm) will become the city's public library with specialized sections devoted to the visual arts, theater, music and architecture, the building F (2,184 sqm) is transformed into a huge exhibition space for temporary exhibitions and will support the educational activities of the Academy of Fine Arts. The building H (2890 square meters) will host residencies for artists, actors, contract professors, scholars and students of the academy linked to European programs of cultural exchange. The ground floor will also house a café open to the public and immersed in the park. It will include the construction of an underground parking with 800 seats, located in the northern edge of the Park Rossani near the new Central Station.
At the centre of the regular structure of the barrack will arise the auditorium / performance centre with a capacity of about 1,000 seats. The architectural shape of the elliptical performance center generates a volume from soft geometries that deliberately contrasts with the rigidity of existing buildings. A multi-purpose building that can accommodate a variety of events and activities such as concerts, theater, conferences, exhibitions and film screenings. Common areas, the cafeteria and the foyer are fully glazed in order to create a relationship of continuity between inside and outside. The wood will be the outer skin of the structure of the facade of the building in order to be in harmony with the park and vegetation.
The city of music will be built at the south-west of the park. The function is already defined by the presence of the Auditorium Nino Rota. The existing structure also plays a supporting role at the Conservatory Niccolo Piccinni. The project proposes to shape a genuine city of music providing for the enlargement of about 2000 square meters of the conservatory with a new building that will house a 400-seat auditorium and music school. Furthermore it is also planned to build an area for outdoor concerts with 400 seats. The park of music because of the new structure planned by the master plan is easily accessible from the city centre.
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