BEYOND THE URBAN VOID: a new recreational and game center for children in the historical neighborhood of Trastevere in Rome.
Our Fall 2010 project aims at studying and proposing urban and architectural solutions for an unresolved area located in the historic neighborhood of Trastevere. This area, traditionally approached as a case study of urban void within the historic urban fabric, now calls for an approach which takes into consideration the potential improvement of the area suggested by Rome’s needs in term of urban and social redevelopment.
The proposed project is a recreational and game Center for kids - in Italian “ludoteca”. The” ludoteca”, a place for playing, is not only a physical space, but also an imaginary place able where kids can free their imagination, allowing creativity and, hence, growth and learning by having fun and playing games. To know how to play does not only mean opening a box and sitting around a table, but also learning about the others, to grow respecting the rules. Therefore the “ludoteca” is a place where kids can play, borrow and try a toy, participate in tournaments, shows and meetings; it should either be a place to spend an afternoon having fun or a place of participation and growth, because playing has been, is and always will be a fundamental part of life. Experiencing the “ludoteca” within the school may lead to innovative educational paths, involving children in a new school experience. Finally, the goal of this project is to design a place which can bring children closer to respecting the rules, civil cohabitation and encounters with others.
Via di San Michele in the Trastevere neighborhood, Rome.
The proposed lot for the project is a rectangular area with dimensions 15x80 meters (equal to 12000 square feet) which is occupied by a temporary structure with a height of 3 meters used as a temporary depot. The lot is defined on the south-west edge by the building of the public elementary school Regina Margherita; on the west edge by the ancient wall of one of the cloisters of the Basilica of Santa Cecilia (IX-XVII centuries) and on the north-east side by Piazza Santa Cecilia with the monumental door designed by the neoclassical architect Ferdinando Fuga. It is possible to demolish the little existing building as well as making the whole area a pedestrian island, rerouting the local viability.
The lot is intimately connected to the medieval fabric of Trastevere and faces a very important historical building which is the monumental complex of San Michele.
The complex of San Michele was build at the end of the XVII century and became the first European example of a multifunctional building as it hosted several different activities (residential, educational, charitable and corrective). Among others, the famous architect Carlo Fontana worked on the complex.
Today the complex, which covers an area of 270.000 square feet, with a 334 meters façade, is the seat of the Ministry of Culture and Heritage as well as the Central Institute of Restoration and the ICCROM.