Ex Consorzio Agrario, Bergamo (IT), Open Competition, 2019, 1st prize

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The renovation of this former warehouse offers an exceptional occasion for the city: the project springs from the public-private effort to create a new pole for innovation and creativity and belongs, at the same time, to the wider urban regeneration program named Porta Sud. Through it there is the chance to be part of one of those “critical” moments (in the etymological meaning of “decisive”) of urban transformation that our cities – too often dominated by short-sighted and fragmentary instances – definitely need. The challenge is ambitious and delicate: how to transform the urban role of a building without impairing its fundamental character; how to turn some apparent ties – proximity to railway cut, variations of walking heights, introversion of the original fabric and the connected speechlessness of its “public” façade – in the founding elements of the new proposal. All this betting on an overall “economy of expressive means”. Proposal aims to equip this “limit” toward the railway with a new sense in the urban structure through few, precise choices. Preserving the fabric introversion, a new passage – underlined by the presence of a portal – is opened up at the end of via Moretti: the energy of the city can expire in a secret, colorful, odorous garden. By the means of this garden – a new veritable semi-public space – all the programmatic functions became accessible; all the spaces orientate on it. A raised sidewalk, that turns into a bench towards the garden, allow to maintain the former loading platform, with great profit in terms of identity, technical impact and economy. The accurate understanding of the building, of its intimate structure and its veiled palimpsest, informs all actions on it: the general attitude seeks to transform it through few exact interventions, clearly contemporary, in dialogue with a fascinating past.