Jun 2017

Architecture Workshop BEYOND THE BOUNDARY in Prato

by Bodar

International Architecture Workshop

Beyond the boundary
Ex Banci and “Declassata” as opportunities toward the transformation of territory of Prato –

The architecture workshop “Beyond the boundary” is an opportunity to investigate some unsolved urban issues in the territory of Prato. Starting from the area where is situated the building called Ex Banci – currently a symbol of urban degradation – and from the axis of the “declassata”, a linear system that crosses the city and that represent a key hinge for potential reconfiguration of the Ex Banci area, the workshop aims a general reflection about the ways of correlation of these different themes, as well as those concerning a larger territorial system. The goal is to identify possible solutions in order to build future scenarios where, organically with wider development, the Ex Banci area becomes such a new propeller tool towards the urban and territorial transformations. It’s imperative to try to manage these aims synergically with the desired urban transformations and regeneration dynamics, that will invest the linear system of declassata and, possibly, the whole territory of Prato. This reflection, as an alternative to the currently state of declassata and its surrounding architectural and urban heritage, will aim to propose declassata as a complementary value to the management and development of a territory with a high geopolitical complexity and difficult to understand. By intervening on the urban system of declassata of Prato, discovering its socio-economic attractions, is possible to give a new the role to the city of Prato as an international hub, strengthen by a territorial system that supports its strategic position and its potential intermodal value.

Likewise, it also means giving a new infrastructural asset to the urban realities that define the territorial system of Prato, by offering new centralities within its fluxes and proposing new processes that would improve the territory.

The territory of Prato requires, above all, the recognition of the specifics and of the aspects defining it and characterizing its aesthetic-geographical value.
This is the first needed step to define priorities and strategies for a relaunch of the area. Recognizing the qualities of a territory means also protecting and enhancing them, but at the same time it is an act able to encourage a critical and proactive reflection on the hindering emergencies.
The topics of the workshop will focus on the rethinking of the Ex Banci area and its programmatic transformation, into a wider regeneration strategy, which will have to cover the whole linear system of declassata, related to the urban scale problems and their possible influence on the architectural and territorial issues.

Program of activities
The workshop will be held from 16 to 23 July in Prato and will be split of two section: one of design and research; one of critical-theoretic training and debate.
The first section will be focused on the design experience aimed to propose urban renewal solutions on the areas covered by the workshop. There will be 5 work groups formed by students and / or architects. Each group will be led by a project leade who will handle the design activity. For this aim, were invited five architects, selected among architectural firms, prominent thanks to their activity and their awards in the Italian and international architectural field, and also among the teachers of important foreign architecture schools who are identified as a high-level academics.
The final results of the workshop will be reviewed by Visiting Critics, invited among important designers or academics, as very high profile personalities in Italy and Europe, who will critic on the ongoing work and will participate in a Grand Jury that will evaluate the final results of each team. The second section will be focused on a series of Lectures held by leading experts and personalities in the international contemporary architectural scenery, who contributed significantly to the advancement of research and of architectural and urban design production