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Urban Quilt

Part 2 Project 2008
Anna Page
London Metropolitan University London UK
The ancient structures and landscapes of our culture are in a constant cycle of decay and repair. In our frensy to protect the precious remnants of our heritage, we loose sight of what architectural clues these special sites have to offer us in contemporary (though not 'postmodern') terms. In the case of Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli, the UNESCO buffer zone forms a cultural cordon sanitaire around the villa: the position put forward is "don't touch the exhibit". Access to and views of this 'landscape city' are possible only via a carpark and €10 entrance fee. As a consequence the rapid growth of Tivoli now meets the edge of the buffer zone, sterilizing the farmland within and creating a temporal devide of what is 'heritage' (250 - 1700's) and what is not (1800's to date).This proposal presents an alternative treatment of heritage within our cities: a conceptually flat strategy which views all aspects of architecural and landscape time as equal. Stitching together the various times, the proposal forms an new urban quilt at the edge of Hadrian's Villa and the roman landscape.
Anna Page


Landscape as City
A Reinterpretation of the Urbanity of Hadrians Villa, near Tivoli, Italy

This student has enthusiastically taken on the idea that both recent and ancient human interventions in the landscape – farm fields, pathways, topographical terracing, remains of buildings– can constructively be used as the basis of the design of a new urbanity. The landscape has embedded in it an urban structure, however empty it might at first seem. This urban structuring is quite obvious on a site such as the 1st Century Roman ruins within the gardens and model city that the Emperor Hadrian built for himself outside of Rome. When seen together with the ever-encroaching dispersed urbanity of the region surrounding the villa, a possible new urban strategy one might propose requires sensitive and intelligent design research and imagination.

This student’s project is a good example of this approach. The student takes as a starting point the UNESCO World Heritage building moratorium that has been placed onto a large zone surrounding the villa. The student has found three existing pathways that connect the surrounding suburbia to the ancient site, running through the UNESCO buffer zone. The proposal is to transform these routes into 3 ‘archeological walks’, or lifelines connecting Tivoli and the villa. Taking one of these walks as an exemplary case, the student has proposed an ensemble of two architectural gatehouses to define the space of a reconstructed Vale of Tempe, a landscape construction that Hadrian originally built in the valley between Tivoli and the villa. The student’s light-handed watercolours and elegant colour drawings recall the wonderful survey studies and architectural inspirations that the student observed at Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire earlier in the year.

Tutor(s)
Prof Florian Beigel
Mr Philip Christou
2008
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