The redevelopment project of the UNESCO site of the Acropolis of Byrsa starts from a careful reading of the stratification of the different textures existing on the site. For a complete reorganization of the site, demolition interventions are planned on all the worthless buildings present in the area in order to restore legibility to the valuable elements present. The archaeological remains, the cathedral and the historic part of the seminary are preserved and integrated into new buildings that will house all the new functions leading to a complete revitalization of the place destined to become one of the main cultural centers of the country. The new buildings respect the existing plans and alignments and do not interfere with the non-buildable areas of archaeological buffer.
The project seeks to respond to the difficult relationship between contemporary architecture and cultural, historical and landscape heritage while respecting the fragile context in which it is inserted. The new cultural center is accessed from Piazza UNESCO, whose perimeter has been redefined also thanks to the project of the new monumental staircase and the Antiquarium building. Interventions are planned on the external paths to ensure that the materials and finishes harmonize with the landscape context in which they are inserted. The archaeological area is made accessible via a ramp that connects the different levels by integrating the existing paths.
The environmental approach comes from a simple use of resources, both in terms of construction and in terms of building management. The target that the project must aim at is the nZEB, i.e. a system whose minimum consumption tends towards self-sufficiency. The new building is designed with materials that minimize heat loss. The HVAC systems are designed with heat recovery units, with storage and integration with the photovoltaic system, they are also designed integrated with the geothermal system for domestic hot water. The recovery of rainwater for internal sanitary and nursery use for the external spaces is also foreseen. All buildings are designed to be managed by a BMS home automation control system.
The project seeks to respond to the difficult relationship between contemporary architecture and cultural, historical and landscape heritage while respecting the fragile context in which it is inserted. The method used for the development of the project is based on a theoretical apparatus that intersects the stratigraphic role of urban and archaeological systems. He attempts to establish a dialogue with the theme of memory, reverberating permanence and invariant characters to the operational dimension as a constitutive metric of spaces, relationships, forms. The project tries to oppose the theme of an ephemeral contemporaneity, where the form taking over often eludes any reasoning, clearly marking its belonging to classical metric systems, for which the archaeological area of Carthage is a fruitful reading text. Through the fragment, bare in the landscape, reading constitutes the first of the design processes in the difficult confrontation with memory and defining itself around systems, analogies and ideas of space, rather than forms. The typology of the Museum, first among the buildings that keep civil, social and urban memory, has the prevailing role of remembering the current value of the past, to the present.
the project was included in the second level of evaluation in the international competition; currently on display in exhibition at the archaeological site of Carthage in Tunis. The project was also prized with honorary mention in the "Abitare la Terra" design competition launched by "Le Vie dei Mercanti 2023" conference and exhibited in the specific exposition in Naples.
DESIGN TEAM: Riccardo Renzi, Architect, PhD, Senior Researcher 08D1/ICAR14 in Architectural and Urban Design at the Architecture Department DIDA of the University of Florence; Elena Ceccarelli, Architect, Post Graduate Degree in Cultural Heritage, Architecture and Landscape, Research Fellow ICAR14 at Dida-Unifi; Silvia Ripa, Architect, Post Graduate Degree in Cultural Heritage, Architecture and Landscape, Teaching Assistant ICAR14 at Dida-Unifi; Gabriele Marinari, Architect, Teaching Assistant Icar14 at Dida-Unifi; Leonardo Catarzi, Engineer. COLLABORATORS: Valentina Marras Architect, Teaching Assistant Icar14 at Dida-Unifi, Dania Al Naimee Junior Architect, Maria Luisa Pilo Junior Architect, Andrea Nicoletta Nicosia Architect, Lucia Paggini Architect.