Infrastructure that Shapes Landscape | The Plan
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Infrastructure that Shapes Landscape

On Friday, 23rd October the Italian railway company Italferr organised a special day dedicated to “Architecture and Infrastructure” at its EXPO Milano 2015 Pavilion, looking at Italferr’s long experience developing large-scale projects.

Focal points of the exhibition - which included a series of scale models - were the new railway stations in Muscat (Oman) and Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) and the railway yard at Orbassano on the Italian segment of the Turin-Lyon high-speed railway line. The exhibition was flanked by a conference examining the role of the architect in infrastructure design.

It was underlined how in recent decades Italferr has given great importance to architectural excellence of the infrastructure it has been commissioned to develop both in Italy and elsewhere, in terms of the environmental impact of large-scale projects but also the attention to quality details. Along with the care taken to blend infrastructure with its context, major focus is also given to new intermodal systems where sustainable mobility based on energy efficiency and the creation of high-quality social spaces promoting wellbeing and improved social interaction are key.

The first topic on the meeting agenda was the role of the landscape architect in infrastructure projects in order to ensure constructions that are not merely functional but conceived for “a given place, rather than a non-place”. Any architectural project that dialogues with its landscape and achieves a balance between the built and natural environment must start by identifying the particular natural, cultural and historical features of that landscape, which is at the same time a natural ecosystem but also one inhabited by man, and hence in continual transformation. By that token, any new infrastructure must be seen as an opportunity to structure and enhance the particular features of the area in question.

The second topic was the question...

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