This is a project for the creation of a multifunctional center in Ascoli Piceno, Italy, destined to cover the adjacents hospital long-term facilities for hospitality and other needs (creation of a rehabilitation centre, a school for young patients, stores and other functions for the community). At the same time, the project aim to work as a crucial lever for the sustainable development of the area, characterized by a lack of places for socialization and services, while the nearby natural green areas and outdoor green spaces are unexploited areas and underused resources.
Since from the beginning the main strategical aims of the project was clear:
- create a network, planned strategically across the entire urban area with energetic-environmental, ecological and social functions, related to the direct usability of urban spaces and to create structural and symbolic functions, a sense of belonging to the place as a vehicle of identity for the community
- give access and possibility of direct interaction-experience with the adjacent nature
- ensure that the outdoor green spaces will be sufficient and accessible, as they have a significant positive impact on health (both physical and psychological) of the inhabitants
- create a public space, reinvoking a square-piazza (and particularly the famous squares of Ascoli Piceno), a gathering and communication place that promotes social cohesion and mutual understanding between the increasingly heterogeneous groups of the place
- creation of outdoor activities for all, a comfortable environment that "invites" to visit and frequent the area, like the creation of a dog park, appropriate areas for planting , the creation of bicycle paths, playgrounds, areas for sports etc.
Paths for cyclists and pedestrians are designed, placing a dense number of trees parallel to the road, assuming a role of wind and acoustic barrier for the wind and sound caused from the cars. In the south side the ground present a light inclination, almost not even noticeable walking along it and at the higher point is placed the entrance of the school (second floor level). In this way, the building is like an organism arised from the ground!
The built environment is not directly imposed, but have to be searched: by doing so, the visitor has a direct approach to all primary elements of nature. The design is characterized from the research of pure architectural lines through simple, net volumes and solid geometric shapes. The complex is composed from the intersection of three volumes, allowing an interesting manipulation of the space, using straight and perpendicular lines, surfaces, squares, rectangles and pure and essential colors. The "movement" of the volumes creates an interesting game of projections and recesses. The two main bodies are connected by a third suspended body, under which passes the pedestrian street. Furthermore, some expedients are used (like the benches design) to emphasize in a very clear way the horizontality of the forms, emphasizing the building's "lines of forces".The volume situated at suth, thanks to its calcolated height and distance does not cast shadows to the second one situated at north, however in the summer shades the central courtyard (public space) and together with the outdoor pool (the indoor pool that have a function of relax and recovery for the patients, is extented towards outside to the public space not only for aesthetic purposes, but by doing so contribute at the same time to the improvement of the microclimate) and the vegetation form a comfortable environment. Furthermore, hardwoods are placed westerly, protecting the building from unwanted sunshine on summer while on winter allows the radiation to contribute to the inner comfort.
The continuity of the facade embrace the public space and give a sense of definition (in terms of perception). Articulated construction, devoid of main facade. Compact corporeity and at the same time transparent. The volumes are dematerialized through full and empty spaces and projections in a sequence that lead on the spectator's view. The strong perspective is accentuated, an idea of dynamism. The ribbon windows help to extend the body of the building along the horizontal and so the geometry pass in second place. So the ribbon windows are not simple signs of regulating lines. The overhang of the second floor is calcolated to be able to shade the interior of the apartments of the first floor at summer and ensure the penetration of sunlight during the winter. The design of the solar shadings of the second floor is an interesting research of manipulation , creating a beautyfull and dynamic exterior sculptural element while fracturing the solar rays form an interesting pattern of shadows in the interior.
The spatiality is completely exploded. The spatial system is continuous and elastic, the spaces vary according to the needs through mobile walls-screens, in a conception that on the three Euclidean dimensions is added the fourth, the time. The hospitality rooms can be extended on the second floor. In addition, the organism could be transformed into hotel, or constitute a sort of hybrid depending on the needs.
The sincerity of the architectural lines is also projected on the materials selection: white plaster, concrete, wood. The wood insert chromatic notes on the two-tones of plaster and cement. The glass allows the natural light to penetrate in the interior spaces deeply and homogeneously. The perpendicular at the strong orizzontality of the building walls, are not covered with plaster but the reinforced concrete remains in view, as it appears just after the disarming. Those walls are placed in an armonic sequence like a "Domino", and contrast metaphorically with the natural elements, as a form but also materially, disinguishing discreetly where the natural is and where the artificial begins and reflecting on how they smoothly blend together.