The Torre del Diavolo (Bari) lifting plant redevelopment project stems from the desire to reformulate the concept of service infrastructure, generically intended to be hidden and not subject to the "aesthetic constraints" that regulate valuable designs, through the recognition of an "architectural dignity" that can transform any service building into an element capable of dialoguing with the landscape in which it is inserted, promoting its naturalistic enhancement. The lifting plant is located in the south-western outskirts of the city of Bari, in an area between the Adriatic coast (near Torre Quetta) and the residential district of Via Caldarola. Although the context in which the plant is located is urbanised, the strip between the coastal railway line and the residential neighbourhoods has land for agricultural use that is strongly characterised from an environmental point of view, in which barren land and dry stone walls contrast with the green foliage of the olive and fruit trees. One of the guiding principles of the project was to conserve and not alter the characteristics that identify the landscape, seeking to establish a visual and perceptive relationship between this and the new buildings with a view to the lowest possible impact, the cornerstones of which are prevention and protection. Thus was born the idea of transforming the infrastructure - hydraulic and industrial in character - into a park, by modelling the horizontal surface, creating a new public space with several paved areas, green areas and special planting, a pedestrian path and filter zones that add aesthetic and landscape values to the existing naturalistic system. In continuity with the concept of environmental mitigation, local tree and shrub species have been used on both horizontal and vertical surfaces to create an even more pleasant landscape impact and to enhance protection from solar radiation and regulation of the microclimate in summer. This dual value as an urban park located on a lot with an "industrial" destination allows users not only to enjoy the site at a working level, but also to experience it to all intents and purposes as an integral part of the landscape, adding "being" as a privileged experience. The architectural intervention involves the placing of new buildings alongside existing buildings, between which integration is ensured by the insertion of a metal skin that intercepts and covers all the buildings on the lot at various distances, and ensures a unified vision. The openings of the buildings are framed by a Corten-effect aluminium box casing, so as to create chromatic continuity with the metal skin system. The presence of this vertical curtain wall sometimes guarantees a safe pedestrian passage as it distinguishes the areas of walkability, delimiting the paved area that is completely carriageable. Without prejudice to the industrial nature of the intervention, materials were chosen both by evaluating the technical-performance characteristics in advance and by taking into account the aesthetic and architectural factor. The use of innovative technologies was favoured, both for the plant design, which exploits, where possible, alternative energy systems and the prefabrication and dry assembly of construction elements.
T-studio is a work and research team that draws inspiration from the constant confrontation on shared themes; the group deals with architectural, urban and environmental design; interior design and multimedia graphics. The research activity finds a specific field of interest in the investigation of the complex relationships established between design methodologies and intervention methods in the built and natural environment. The themes are mainly aimed at investigating the connections of urban design and the strategic role of disused and degraded areas. The study of the historical, social and economic dimensions of contexts connects architectural design to the roots of the local habitus. The common objective is to provide a theoretical and applied contribution to the theme of living and inhabiting places in a sustainable manner by considering them as complex systems of relationships and functions from the aesthetic, ethical, social, environmental and technological points of view.
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