Luca Morganti - The technological and innovative redevelopment of industrial archaeology in Ravenna, the ex-SIR paraboloid
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The technological and innovative redevelopment of industrial archaeology in Ravenna, the ex-SIR paraboloid

Luca Morganti

Technology, materials innovation and sustainability
Luca Morganti
Redevelopment of industrial archeology in Ravenna, the ex-SIR paraboloid.
Urban regeneration project, technological innovation and bioclimatic study.

The project is located in Emilia Romagna, in particular in the dock of the port city of Ravenna, a former industrial area that over the years has undergone a progressive abandonment. Currently it is the subject of private subdivisions (mostly in an advanced state of decay) which house several examples of industrial archeology of great historical testimonial value, an important heritage of the redevelopment and re-functionalization of cities.
From the original regeneration project of the former chemical fertilizer warehouse known as ex-SIR (from the name of the company that built it in the 1950s), there have been various developments that are design objectives characteristic of the different scales addressed.

At first, a possible design strategy for the redevelopment of the entire urban area of the dock was defined, highlighting the possibilities offered by these architectural testimonial memories.
The urbanization works have been conceived following a precise methodological approach, a system logic, with which the elements of the context, physical elements that characterize the dock (the quay, the green areas, the industrial archeology, etc.) are related with the generating elements, typical of some innovative approaches of contemporary urban design (such as those of Smart cities, the logic of Smart Grid and the dynamics of Smart Mobility). From this approach a design tool has been derived, applicable on the basis of needs, capable of creating an extensive urban place that was unitary in appearance, eco-sustainable and functional.
The activating tool of the strategy is a path that acts as a connector for the various sectors that make up the dock, in order to define a route for the optimization and innovation of public services on an urban scale. on the architectural scale, on the other hand, the path becomes a suggestive promenade that guides people to discover the public spaces of the project.

The regeneration and functional design aims to adapt this splendid example of industrial archeology (that represents the former warehouse ex-SIR) to contemporary needs. This process also takes place through the adoption of innovative materials and technological systems and the application of bioclimatic models of energy efficiency.
During the design phase, every relevant aspect connoting the pre-existence was taken into account, namely: the historical-architectural value (being a peculiar historical evidence testifying to a socio-economic-industrial reality once relevant for the city), the aesthetic value and morpho-typological (seeking the possibility of transformation without compromising the image of the building despite a radical functional review) and the constructive value of the existing (in the final attempt to mitigate potential structural vulnerabilities in place in view of the adaptation).
The functions chosen for this intervention are consistent with the theme defined for this specific area of ​​the dock, which has been given a cultural purpose represented by individual and collective development (favored in study and university spaces), by the creation of opportunities and spaces for innovative models and working methods (such as co-working) and the comparison as well as the artistic development produced by the Fab-Lab.

A fundamental step of the project is the identification of the potential offered by the geometry and composition of the existing industrial architecture, in order to identify possible transformation strategies (characterized by bioclimatic logical connotations) compatible with the highest sustainability criteria that would allow the exploitation of passive natural factors to improve environmental comfort. The wind chimneys were born from this research following the architectural transformation of the old loading and unloading towers of the warehouse. The placement of air intakes at the top of the chimneys was envisaged which, thanks to their geometry, orient themselves autonomously in the direction of the wind by implementing an air intake phenomenon behind them inside the ex-Sir.
With the adoption of a preliminary analysis system, a simulation study and a verification of the environmental and bioclimatic system of the project were carried out. This takes place through the use of a multiphysics simulation software capable of generating a descriptive picture of the environmental characteristics, on which the design choices were then based aimed at obtaining the best indoor comfort for the future users of these spaces were based and at the same time optimizing the energy performance of the building.
Considering the current historical moment in which we are living, characterized by the prospect of a future greater need in terms of healthiness of collective spaces, tools of this type represent interesting solutions for natural air exchange within architectural environments, not only to cope with dynamics of necessity but also able to prevent them.
This work offered an interesting moment of reflection and the definition of a model of a regenerative, constructive and functional approach that can be repeated also for residual built assets present in countless similar urban areas to be redeveloped.
The results obtained from the bioclimatic study in this thesis are fundamental results for the evaluations carried out in terms of design and the simulation study represents a promising and effective tool. The possibilities offered by multiphysics simulation are undeniable and the future of environmental design and architectural regeneration cannot escape them.


 University of Ferrara
 Department of Architecture
 Luca Morganti, Emiliano Lambertini and Andrea Zattini (for rendering graphic support)

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