A mid-term vision for Bari's urban centre must implant the themes for the disparate parts of the city to grow together into a unified and symbiotic whole, both in terms of spatial ordering and through the implantation of social catalysts that will over time grow into vibrant new neighbourhoods and hubs.
Sector 1. Piazza Aldo Moro, station and via Capruzzi
The competition brief correctly spotlights the Station and Piazza Aldo Moro as the anchor location for regenerative incentives. While respecting the historic substance of the existing station it is here proposed to add a dramatic new Hall/Screen in front of the north facade.
The Screen is a very thin building without floor. Escalators and 2 lifts bring travellers down directly from the Piazza to the underground distribution level. The screen is glazed and transparent on Piazza level offering dramatic views down and up. At night the floodlit interior acts an an 'Urban Lantern', a new landmark for the centre of Bari
An identical new south front describes on the city skyline the new double orientation of the station. The centre of Piazza Aldo Moro is given back to pedestrians, the heart of the city - to the south the via Caprizzi tunnel allows an east west Piazza, a second representative entrance, a transition to the Caserna Rossani)
The Lanterns bring commuters down to a level -1 concourse with shopping islands between generously proportioned tunnels and platform access.
The existing station building is freed to become a Grand Cafe, with adjacent shops and kiosks - a social focus.
Sector 2. Railway yards and crossings
Ideally to heal the wound of the railway trench the Murat block structure would be extended across the tracks in this sector, but for safety and economic reasons only a small part of the track can be covered with built structure. Such bridges are here used as an urban thread stitching the two sides together. Anchoring each stitch to the north and south are a family of triangular office towers. These have a characteristic rounded corner to the street (a motive characteristic of 1930s buildings in Bare) and sunscreened glazed facades looking back over the tracks. These are office buildings, prestigious corporate addresses. Between the anchoring office buildings are lower decks (at ground level street activating shops, at 1st floor lever large format retail areas for inner-city showrooms - furniture etc.- and above, garden roof terraces with studio and cafe /restaurant pavilions connecting to the bridges.
To the north these roof terraces also connect to the Skyline cross-city bicycle and jogging route - a rescripting of the current railway viaduct. To the north and south parking strip podiums (below retail and offices) face the train tracks and provide stairs up to the 7m. bridge height.
To the east of Sector 2 are an acropolis like bus station (south) and a public garden with Hotel/Fitness / multiplex cinema (north). Both of these benefit from their nearness to the central station.
At the western extreme of Sector 2. the new Liberta Station is located in a new neighbourhood focussing Piazza - Piazza Liberta.
Sector 3. FAL area and auditorium.
The fragmented and heterogeneous zone of the Ferovia Deposito Bari Scalo is ordered by an activating of the urban block typology, The orientation of these blocks prescribe them as estranged relatives of the Murat zone - an outbreak of urbanity. This is envisaged as primarily a residential neighbourhood. The ground level of each block is reserved tor street and neighbourhood activating functions - shops, cafes, kindergartens, and clubs for the elderly. - also entrance lobbies with bicycle storage.
Carparking for this Sector is in the -1 level of each block. Perimeter blocks are ascribed to specific functions - to the north track facing offices (sound barrier) with street facing public gardens - to the south, around Statione Bari Scalo, light industrial - large footprint retail taking advantage of their adjacency to viale Louis Pasteur.
The Conservatorium becomes a Music Campus (pavilions in a garden) with new auditoriums colonizing the neighbouring industrial shed (Acoustic pods within the shed) + a new office and teaching room building (to the north).
To the south -east corner of Sector 3 it is proposed to reuse existing railway buildings as youth clubs, music/culture venues.
Hospital - although outside the competition area the eastward extension of via Giuseppe Sangiori implies a reorientation of the hospital and a new figure in the Bari plan. Future hospital wings framing green courtyards and the new representative Hospital entrance -(via della Murge + voa Giuseppe Sangiori intersection).
Sector 4. FNB and private areas
Sector 4 like Sector 5 is here designated as a green lung, in this case a lung that brings the Murat grid to a consequential conclusion. The principle of perimeter construction allows an internal park landscape giving the large volume of existing and new housing in Sector 4 a high degree of 'social sustainability'. The three residential towers, which mark the western perimeter, have the emblematic role of city gate announcing Bari's Broadway, via Francesco Crispi. The tower cluster also frame a new Cemetery entrance Piazza.
Commercial functions occupy the ground level of the perimeter buildings, oriented to and activating the surrounding streets.
Two levels parking completely occupying the north -eastern triangle of the block interior resolve the very major question of parking in this Sector. The roof of this parking is landscaped as a sport and playground deck, available for both school and local use. An access portal to this green deck and to the block interior is oriented to the via Mario Pagano.
Sector 5. North South axis
The potential of this sector is evidenced through an exaggeration of its current condition - a collision of urban and rural uses and scales. That such a green lung exists so close to the Murat Block downtown' is thematicised by concentrating new functions on the perimeter,
Existing light industrial and commercial enterprises to the west are combined and condensed into a sound barrier to the New Bridge - 2 floor offices as street facade, single floor showroom/production volumes (attività artigianali) are behind this screen.
Also on the east side of sector 5 existing companies on the corner of Viale Louis Pasteur and Via Guiseppe Sangiori are integrated in the long term planning strategy. A new residential street is introduced on the east side of the 'green lung'; here the typology of Row Houses (5x12 meters, 3 floors) culminates in three residential towers (exactly the same as those in Sector 4). In terms of spatial choreography these towers conclude the trench of the railway tracks. Parking for the towers is below the northern end of the green park.
The park is not only a facility for those lucky enough to live in the towers or the row houses.
It is the goal and conclusion of a new cross-city bicycle and walking/jogging route, a reprogramming of the Corso Italia Railway Viaduct.
In the short term it is envisaged to maintain vegetable growing in the new park (Urban Gardening), For the long term a more intense park use will demand a Landscape Garden (English or abstracted) with picnic, play and fitness equipment.
Sector 6. Between via Dieta Bari and via Oberdan
This area demands a series of episodes. An alternating of solids (built morphology) and voids (pocket parks). The wound of the tracks in the urban tissue is most emphatically healed by a connection of the diagonal axis of Via Valona (north) and that of Via Caldarola (south). New blocks accompanying this reconnection instigate a new morphological continuity.
The monumental edifice of the Comando III Regione Aerea gains a new pocket Park to the south. A via Rodi extension (concourse) becomes the central pedestrian axis of a sport + forest (existing trees) Pocket Park, in the corner of which the existing villa ruin (opposite Stazione Bari Sud -Est) becomes a terrace cafe with adjacent playground.
The Via Emanuele Mola Precinct locates another episode in Sector 6. - A Polychromatic Zone where, as with the remaining historic fragments, colour gives individual freestanding buildings their character. On the west side this developes as a matrix of passages and courts, new buildings on the scale of historically evolved villages.
The strategy for Sector 6 is based on a careful reading and taking cue from existing conditions. A strategy that can be pursued in modest increments over time. This is not the case for Sector 6 as it approaches Statione Bari Centrale . Here major urban surgery is necessary as evidenced by the traffic plan for the interchange of the Sottovia Luigi di Savoia underpass. Such major traffic engineering in the heart of the city runs the risk of becoming a wound, painful surgery. It is proposed here to extend the traffic solution with a lid of other complementary functions,
A new parking table between via Giuseppe Capruzzi and the railway tracks hovers above the
Traffic interchange, it is accessed via a ramp from the east roundabout and exited down a ramp delivering to the west roundabout. 628 cars can here be parked in close proximity to the Central Station (switch) - a lift and ramped people-mover connects parking decks to the new south station entrance Piazza.
The roof of the parking wafer is a green terrace with pavilions for functions benefiting from nearby parking - clubs, discothèque, cafes (this is a new event deck in the heart of the city).
At the east end of the parking wafer is an integrated office building (north side parallel to tracks, south facetted like neighbouring street alignments). Here office suites for doctors, dentists, lawyers, tax consultants and water diviners are accessed from the parking levels or from street level (Polychromatic precinct).
Sector 7. Caserma Rossani
As reflected in the identical pavement treatment the Caserma Rossani has the potential to become the mirror of Piazza Aldo Moro - the heart and hub of Bari. A sequence of urban rooms unfold sequentially from the Station (south) to the vast void (a green room) and the new Local Council offices (centre), the existing building to the east (casa delle Associazioni - carassi) and the west pavilion (Accademia belle arti - 3.500 mq).
The New Cultural Square is anchored by a new building to the south - Nuova Biblioteque Civica - 30.000 qm). Library functions extend into the east side existing building (ereroteca/scaffale libero) and the west side existing building (didattica inter biblioteca/accademia). The new Library has two reading room /public information Pavilions advancing as ambassadors into the square.
The Cultural Square itself is the roof of two parking levels each with 400 spaces for visitors and the surrounding neighbourhood. (800 total). A new street crosses east-west on the south side of the park. A sequence of smaller green urban rooms open the park periphery to the surrounding streets and neighbourhood. To the east - a field for dogs and a football field, to the west a Kindergarten field and a Ragazzi Clubhouse field.
The new Caserma Rossani is not only a green hub for its surrounding neighbourhoods it is also a major new cultural node for the whole city of Bari.