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IP Workshop - Compact City Architecture



An intervention from gate to gate

Considerations about the place:The starting point of our proposal is a deep analysis of the square and its surroundings; bearing in mind everything that stands there today, everything that once stood there, everything that would stand there after our proposal… Therefore, the superposition of actual plans of the site over those belonging to the late eighteenth and the early nineteenth century reveals as a useful tool to find out the new balance between existing buildings and those of the proposed new gate for the University of Parma. This comes as a result of our understanding of the city as an ever-changing organism that never loses its identity.
The most important pre-existences on the site are:
1.  Santa Croce’s Romanesque church.
2.  Ancient city walls and the Farnesian gate of Santa Croce, next to the entrance of Parco Ducale. 
3.  The Parco Ducale entrance at the beginning of the viale J.F. Kennedy.
4.  The two pavilions –actually disappeared- built by Maria Luigia as barrières on the axis of via Emilia.
5.  The seemingly elliptical square in front of Santa Croce connected to the boulevards, which is clearly out of scale related to the historic centre.All these elements will be of the utmost importance in the final composition since they allow us to reconstruct the city –precisely this square- reducing its scale to a new one related to the old city; creating a semicircular space inside the ancient walls, which is able to attend both scales in the complex of Santa Croce’s Square: the new buildings and the homonymous church.
Our intervention proposes:
1.  A new solution for the end of via D’Azeglio, where the historic city finishes, which consists of two elements en pendant, when seen from the Piazza Santa Croce:
•  A parvis or forecourt in front of the main façade of Santa Croce, surrounded by a double bench with cypresses, that restores the adequate scale for the church 
• A portico or pavilion for open exhibitions and entrance to the University or Parma. This portico has the same height and proportions as the blind brick arcades of the façades of Santa Croce’s Church. The artificial and empty volume of this portico is compared and measured with the equivalent void and natural space defined by the ordination of cypresses in front of Santa Croce’s Church. 
2. A new solution for the Farnesian gate of Santa Croce which tries to overcome its present marginality  and affirm its presence in the new square by the addition of a pavilion for a public lounge-bar, similar in proportion, shape and material to the portico of the university  entrance.
3.  A new reconstructed barrières of Maria Luigia close the Piazza, recreate the new scale and serve to reinforce the presence of the historical Via Emilia with a plantation of linden-trees. This new pavilions could be the pedestrian entrances for the parking underneath the elliptical square.4. A new building – octagonal Tower - that tries to solve the complexity of the situation created in the surroundings of via J.F. Kennedy. On one hand the entrance to Parco Ducale and, on the other hand, the way running trough-out the spaces without any qualification between the existent and so diverse buildings belonging to the University of Parma. The aim is to articulate this heterogeneous ensemble of buildings and spaces and, at the same time, to make clear -in the new Santa Croce’s Square- the presence of the University itself.

Tavola 1 - ZOOM
Tavola 2 - ZOOM
Tavole 3 - ZOOM