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Places of Un-named Possibilities

Part 2 Project 2013
Jade Huang
Mackintosh School of Architecture, UK
The thesis project seeks to make a generous gesture to the city of Genoa by providing a new layer of places and ‘rooms’ for the use of its citizens. These rooms belong to the city and take inspiration from the everyday richness of a city made by collective peoples.

The site chosen for intervention is located on the periphery of the ancient Castello, adjacent to a residential neighbourhood removed from the tourists’ gaze; a strip of land just outside of the ancient medieval walls and borders the 20thC highway that runs adjacent to the port side. This site offers the opportunity to reclaim space back for the citizens of Genoa by enveloping a protective boundary outwards against the hostile motor car strip. It also aims to appropriate the existing street by punctuating this otherwise insignificant part of the city with activity, densifying the slackening city periphery.

The intervention will seek to be a piece of Genoa, an ensemble which carefully weaves into the existing fabric, although maintaining its distinction. It does not seek to mimic, but to understand the existing condition and provide usefulness and opportunity for inhabitation.

Part of the challenge of the thesis was to develop an architectural language that emerged from an understanding of the medieval fabric of Genoa, learning from its streets and piazzas, which invite activity and spontaneous use without definitive design. Like Morandi’s bottle paintings, there is a focus on the tension in between objects and events. There is a fascination of chance occurrences and everyday occasions. The architecture then seeks to controls pace, territory and legibility but not usefulness. Places aim to be accumulated from an internal narrative rather than through formal gesture. The intervention can be understood as a contemporary interpretation of a classical Casino; a house of entertainment and pleasures, banquets and balls. The spaces invite fleeting occurrences and collisions between the boundaries of formalised gatherings.

The Casino seeks to provide rooms for event, and room for the everyday to become event.

Jade Huang


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