Hold the line | E13 Winner
Europan 13, 1st prize | Molfetta, Italy
Embracing the theme of the adaptable city, our project proposes for the city of Molfetta a flexible system which can help the site realize its full potential. It designs a new waterfront, unified and compact, with a single action, a line, running through the entire site. But, at the same time, it is declined in different ways, paying attention to every specific need.
It consists in equipping the waterfront with a single system made by metallic portals; therefore it is not a constructed object, but a light structure, which can be realized in an easy and less expensive way, without using more land, but trying to develop the existing.
The base module is a square of 3,60x3,60m; its repetition forms the road, for bicycles and pedestrians; so they can have a dedicated space, separated from the cars, through the entire waterfront. The module can be equipped in several ways, first of all with wooden strips to protect the walk from sun and wind; but also nearby the main walk, it can duplicate the line and host little cafes and commercial activities, such as stalls. The pieces of furniture for the shops are incorporated inside the module. It can also be used for the facilities of the shores, such as locker rooms or cabins, toilets, and even a lifeguard tower. It can be customized by people, and used for instance on the occasion of the local religious celebration of the Madonna dei Martiri as a support for the traditional lightning. Where is needed the frame can also reach different heights, creating multiple levels, always wheelchair accessible, through ramps and elevators.
We can divide the site in six thematic areas, three in the west part, three in the east one. Each one has specific resources to develop and problems to solve, so the project takes care of them in six different declination of the action. This ideal division and the system of the portals permit to realize the project in several phases, or singles interventions, in different moments.
The six attractors are:
- for the ex-Colonia, historically used for bathing during summer, a place for children and a public shore, to keep its vocation, but at the same time making it inhabited during the entire year through the sporting and recreational camp;
- nearby the Inps building, a spacious square, which will provide characterization to the area, a public space for the many residential buildings of the surroundings, and a safe access to the bathing;
- or the waterfront till the old town, poorly used by people, mainly crossed by cars, the real challenge is to make people stop by and spend time by the waterfront and not only go through it: so we provide a constructed wetland, able to treat and purify the water from the street, before pouring it into the sea, creating at the same time some pleasurable gardens, and three public pedestrian piers, with cafes and stalls;
- a walk running just above the sheds of the shipyards, giving people the opportunity to observe the workers; the portal frame also infiltrates between the sheds, creating, besides the continuous walk, little cafes and recreational areas, and a museum of the shipyards, to protect the tradition, in the aim of making the yards cease to be an element of division and become the fulcrum of the day and nightlife of the area;
- next, in the vacant and abandoned area, an administration office for the reception of tourists, based inside a cylindrical structure made of our portal frames, and some recreational areas;
- for Secca dei Pali, used only for particular events, such as circus shows, we provide pools and an artificial beach, to make it accessible during all the year. Moreover: a structure of terraced steps which can be used both as a trampoline but also as a point of view: of the bird nests inside the new harbor, of the fireworks of particular celebrations, and of the panorama of the old town.
Our main aim is to give the waterfront back to the citizens, making them live and inhabit the site, making the most of all the existing but not valorized resources. The entire area has to remain free, giving artisans and small business owners the possibility to open little commercial activities, using the system of stall provided by the project, without privatizing the land or the access to the sea. The spirit is to involve and educate the population in a process of self-organization, self-maintenance, and sharing of the waterfront.