Toti Semerano/Laboratorio di Architettura Semerano - Landscape redevelopment and environmental recovery of “Punta Meliso”, S. Maria di Leuca
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Landscape redevelopment and environmental recovery of “Punta Meliso”, S. Maria di Leuca

Toti Semerano/Laboratorio di Architettura Semerano

Landscape  /  Future
Toti Semerano/Laboratorio di Architettura Semerano
The renovation project of the former Colonia Scarciglia dates back to 2004, which provided for the renovation of the entire original volume in accordance with current legislation. A ruin of that intervention remains, the imposing façade supported on one side by the attics of the first and second floors and on the other by a stone cage. Despite the interventions to make the building safe already carried out, further interventions will certainly have to be foreseen in a short time.The project is supported by project financing. Instead of restoring the existing volume, the design project plans to drastically reduce it by making the hill, now completely hidden from view, reappear, an intervention where architecture dialogues, integrates, merges with the landscape: The main goal becomes the environmental recovery of Punta Meliso.
The decision to reduce the volume not only reduces the environmental impact but also the static pressure of the building on the ground. The load structure reduction and its uniform distribution determine a significant attenuation of the geomorphological danger. Only the ground floor is used of the imposing volume of the Colony. The part of the main body facing the tourist residence is used to design a "Lido" which includes, in addition to specific functions such as swimming pools, fitness, spa and related services, also a restaurant and bar designed to be usable independently of the functioning of the Lido itself.The remaining part of the former Colony remains in public availability and is recovered as a Museum of the Sea, proposed as an active cultural project rather than a conservation space for finds, a place that will make available all that human intelligence has proposed in a creative form on the theme of sea and travel: documentaries, films, sound recordings, within a program of activities that will develop in the spirit of the cultural indications proposed by the Puglia Region. A single element stands out in the recovered landscape, a Tower of great symbolic value, whose height is the memory of the size of the former colony, a volume which one chooses to give up. The tower recalls an identifying sign of the Salento coastal landscape, but it is also the gateway to the hill above, which is to be made accessible not only as a walk, but also by extending, through a botanical restoration, the tree-lined part so as to form a wood that with its shade it offers a shelter from the scorching summer sun.
These paths are designed with the appropriate slopes to eliminate any architectural barrier, and in their initial development they give access to the terrace that develops above the museum and becomes an outdoor arena that can be used as a cinema and obviously for other events.

The private spaces are holiday homes of 896sqm served by a private beach. The renovation of the buildings present behind the main body of the former Colonia Scarciglia takes place without changing the existing volumes: variations of window openings, external walls covered with recycled stone similar to the natural stone with which the small existing side building was built, an appropriate reorganization of internal distribution. Different utilization schemes have been studied which make it possible to create apartments of different sizes in order to respond effectively to various users. The access to these residences is by external stairs and paths, with stairs and a lift directly from the covered parking.
The bar-restaurant is 310 square meters, simultaneously serves the beach and external customers, as well as being an aid resource for the events that will take place in the adjacent museum. On the floor below, food preparation is guaranteed by a spacious kitchen, service and warehouse area on 232 square meters, directly accessible from the outside and connected to an overlying office served by a freight elevator.
The museum of the sea is spread over a total of 655sqm, served by 781sqm of public and private covered parking lots and concluded with a 54sqm tower that rises to a height of 12.5m. Located near the entrance to the building complex, it is composed of a service block and an open space organized with movable partitions, so as to ensure maximum flexibility of use. The seafront wall consists of a large 164sqm window that opens onto a 7.5m wide partially covered terrace. From here the ramp winds its way that allows everyone to have access, first to the outdoor arena on the roof of the museum, then directly to the hill, crossing the roof garden present on the covered parking lots. The outdoor arena, a space of 590sqm that develops on the roof of the museum, was created with the intention of allowing various activities, becoming a "Piazza Grande" for the community..The tower is a element strongly characterizing of the project. Its height of 12.5m, is the environmental detractor that has been eliminated to make the hill it hid reappear. It takes up an element present in the coastal landscape: the watchtowers, it also creates the "door of the hill", now not accessible to the public.From below, the tower remains essentially empty, a well in the sky. At this point we leave the sea behind and we come to determine a particular situation in which we begin to perceive the hill more and more, but looking up we discover a great void, a telescope pointed towards another blue, which instead water contains the sky.The outdoor arena of 590sqm that develops on the roof of the museum, was created with the intention of allowing various activities, becoming a "Piazza Grande" for the community. The main access ramp continues with a path that barely penetrates the tower and from there continues towards the hill, drawing paths whose slopes are such as not to create any architectural barrier. The problem of accessibility is an indispensable element of the project to create that "place" immersed in nature that has guided every architectural composition choice.


 S. Maria di Leuca
 Alboran Real Estate / Comune di Castrignano del Capo
 3510 mq
 Toti Semerano
 Salvatore Musarò, Riccardo Catamo, Ludovica Fava, Stefano Sabato
 Images Courtesy Of Laboratorio di Architettura Semerano


Piergiorgio ( Toti ) Semerano was born in Padua, Italy, in 1941. He lives and works in Italy in the cities of Padua and Lecce. Recent Awards: Pida Award 2020 winner in the Hotel category Stella Maris project, winner "The Plan Award 2020" category Future public space, rocky coast Otranto project, Finalist 2019 EU Mies Van der Rohe Award project Atelier Bagnoli, winner 2019 The Plan Award category Future Office and Business, winner 2018 The Plan Award category Future Housing project Residenza Sansovino, winner 2018 The Plan Award category Future Mixed use project Residence office Center The Plan Award 2017 Honorable mention - category "Culture", The Plan Award 2015 - category "Special Projects ", Pida 2012 - Lifetime Achievement Award, Merit Award - competition" Taiwan Towers Conceptual Design Competition "2010, International Architecture Biennial Barbara Cappochin 2009 Award, Best Detail category.

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