Участникам необходимо разработать идеи по созданию термального комплекса на территории заброшенной каменоломни в итальянском городе Каррара. Проект должен гармонично вписываться в существующий природный ландшафт и при этом предлагать условия для комфотного отдыха. Конкурсантам нужно предусмотреть строительство нескольких бассейнов, а также других функциональных зон (администрация, раздевалки, душевые и пр.).
Extraction, desertification, appropriation, (un)suitability, destruction... The human being has been developing their way of life with actions which are detrimental to the rest of the living creatures that inhabit the Earth. The quarries and the extraction of materials are clear examples. The extraction of materials has occurred without considering the ecosystems, biotopes, ecotones... this has only happened in order to find an individual consumer good. But, what happens when these quarries become inactive? They are areas where the human being has left his mark. Can architecture recover these spaces not only for our habitability but for a common habitability? What is the basis for this type of architecture?
The contest, called Carrara Thermal Baths, looks for two concept: RE-NATURALIZE and RE-STORE. Let’s think for a moment. How can our actions contribute to nature? That’s what the contestant must investigate and propose.
Projects do not start from scratch since there is no place ever inhabited, with stories, cultures or ways of living that should be part of the experience of this location. The landscape condition of a quarry has its own characteristics, different to any other natural place, because it is a space where the artificiality has been imposed from different processes such as the extraction of materials, mobility of heavy machinery, meeting places for workers... All these processes generate a landscape with predetermined qualities.
From reTH!NKING, two concepts are considered essential as well: SCALE and DETAIL. How can anyone intervene keeping in mind the feeling of marble texture, the smells of plants, the sound of water to running over the quarry or the thermal sensation of different atmospheres and in turn, incorporate the different cycles and times of the whole natural space around it? How can we cover the project? How can we live in? How can we experience it? Water is an element of shared vitality between the natural and the human. How can we create spaces of interaction where we share what we have in common?
Our current lifestyles are accelerated, instantaneous, simultaneous and marked by devices such as the clock and mobile phone. These ways of life have generated a stressed, dual and individualistic society. Could someone, from the project, stimulate other ways of life more leisurely, relaxed, related to nature? An escaping area where experimenting with new connections with nature. To project is to enjoy.
Can we intervene understanding that nature is at our level and not at our service? A place where architecture is a constant dialogue between different ways of life, remembering the idea proposed by Alison and Peter Smithson in Upper Lawn, where everything that exists had a value itself, the wall, the tree, the well...
In this century, the world is facing major challenges. One of them is the problem of climate change. One way to intervene could be the modification of the mentioned actions at the beginning of the text into other actions such as preservation, recovery, assessment, education and reconstruction. Architecture would be designed as ARCHITECTURE FOR LIFE.