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Urban Dreams

Part 1 Project 2001
Massimo Minale
University of Cambridge, UK

This year's work comprised of simultaneous projects (set in Camden and Cambridge), dealing with issues of urban public space. I aimed to respect and establish openings in the rapid and fragmented urbanscape to create space for thought, debate and dreams.

CAMDEN: NEW STABLES MARKET:(slides 1-15) Proposal for housing and 'education' for homeless people. Within the existing marketplace, I created a space of intersection between the street and the house. This would be based around an ever evolving, living landscape instead of an institutional setting. Like the ironic intimacy of the homeless persons doorway, protected on three sides with the fourth side open to the city, this world would also be integral with the wider environment whilst simultaneously beholding a sense of domesticity. Here will exist the opportunity for many levels of homeless inhabitation, ranging from the single homeless traveller resting against a warm patch of wall for the night, to the large homeless communities growing over longer periods of time.

CAMBRIDGE: MILL ROAD:(slides 16-20) proposal for a public space and hall to embrace the intentions shown throughout the Camden site. I decided to intensify rather than neutralise the space. By establishing a series of 'planes', the boundaries between stage and audience are blurred and a volatile urban space is created; everybody is observing and being observed. The Baths are pockets of calm held within the depths of the earth.

Massimo Minale

The student's work exudes a very high quality in both intention and execution. Working in an environment where the general architectural expectation is to create meaningful buildings, as compared to exploring architectural theory more abstractly, the student's visionary approach rises far above the norm, into the realms of powerful inspiration.

His depth of understanding of urban public space issues lead to a passionate and profound response to the projects given. He speaks most powerfully through his hands which create models and drawings with remarkable insight. The materiality of the models embody the grittiness of urbanity present in the sites and the drawings portray the wonder of the life and spaces proposed. There is depth in the work that is wise beyond his years.

This student is equally masterful on the visionary scale as he is at individual spaces. Through his perspective drawings he reveals the intimacy of space in a way that enables the viewer to experience it, almost as if being a witness in the room. This is not a mere drawing of a design proposal, It exudes the intensity and excitement of the place itself. Here is a talent that extends far beyond skill into the passion and spirit of living space.

• Page Hits: 1854         • Entry Date: 19 September 2001         • Last Update: 19 September 2001