PROJECT: MARIA CLAUDIA CLEMENTE, FRANCESCO ISIDORI
PROJECT TEAM: DOMINIQUE RETHÀNS [PROJECT LEADER], SUSAN BERARDO, LEONARDO CONSOLAZIONE, LAURA DI SIMONE, GAIA MARIA LOMBARDO, DOMENICO SANTORO, EILEEN VALENTI
Borderline Metropolis is a vision for Rome that investigates what could happen if its future growth is suggested by the structure that is intrinsic to its actual composition: a network of edges between city and landscape occurring around open spaces that are interior to the city.
Rome appears as an island structure of different types of urban fabric that alternate with open space. This results in a periphery that has folded towards the centre, creating unique juxtapositions between iconic images of the historic Rome and a sometimes indifferent urban sprawl. It is this condition that gives Rome a vitality and potential of which it displays little or no awareness. In this sense Rome suffers from unstable self-image: a borderline personality.
Borderline Metropolis questions if this existing network of edges can be extended and turned into an instrument that combines “awareness” of the territory with scenarios for transformation; a “neural” network that is able to tweak the unstable self-image of Rome where necessary, by using the positive vitality that is embedded in the edge condition to adjust the phenomena that are responsible for the perceived indifference; a lack of density, low connectivity, mono-functionality and lack of spatial articulation.
While the proposed extension of the network of edges enhances connectivity on the scale of the entire city, the neural network formulates the scenarios for transformation by scaling back and forward within the territory, using the intermediate scale of the open spaces within the city and the smaller scale of a specific edge condition as focal points for intervention.
Inactive open spaces are transformed into new typologies in order to solve fragmentation and a lack of spatial and functional integration with the surrounding urban fabric. Transformation of edges in the network are defined through a series of edge instruments that each address a specific edge condition.
The Neural Network is an organizational structure that seeks to activate the weakest parts of the territory and reconnect them to the city as a whole.
Being an open system that capitalizes on the differentiating potential of the city it leaves behind the finalizing and closed form of the urban plan. Finally, the Neural Network is an instrument for a renewed aesthetic consciousness about the cityscape.