Project for a non-speculative architecture

Project for a non-speculative architecture
Collage by Chiara Ciambellotti
An interspecies project where architecture addresses all living beings, protecting new ecosystems and decolonizing the approach to urban regeneration

Prato, Italy
Team members
Nicolò Merli
Samuele Recchia
Francesco Romagnoli
Andrea Vannini
Field of work
Architecture, Ecology, Research
Project category
Project submitted

Chiara Ciambellotti: PhD student in architecture, interested in arts, justice (in all its forms) and research;
Nicolò Merli: PhD student in environmental engineering, graduated in piano from the conservatory, interested in arts;
Samuele Recchia: graduate in editorial illustration, freelance illustrator interested in cinema and music;
Andrea Vannini: graduated in biology, environmental biologist and teacher;
Francesco Romagnoli: graduated in architecture, architect in a studio.

In an environment that increasingly tends towards total urbanization, despite the effects of climate change becoming more and more violent and evident, land consumption and building speculation do not seem to be able to stop.
We therefore wanted to focus on those territories that seem to have come out of the logic of capital and become other situations. Places where biodiversity begins to resettle by converting highly degraded industrial and urban territories. These spaces are often perceived by the population as an element of severe degradation and abandonment, to be eliminated or reconverted. However, these areas can become kinds of open-air cultural laboratories, in which one can immerse oneself in this rediscovered urban naturalness, where prolific activities can be carried out, reactivating that relationship between man and nature that was lost in the last century.
The context in which we find ourselves operating for the project in question is that of the city of Prato. Specifically, the project takes place within the former Marchino cement factory, one of the most important artifacts of the local industrial archeology. The choice of this site is an openly provocative act, as it is the object of yet another phenomenon of building speculation and qualified, once again, as an urban redevelopment intervention.
The work is done through strategies that set in motion simple processes of attention, care, reuse, and recycling, towards a dynamic and open result. Delicate decisions are favored rather than strong decisions that allow adaptations, checks, clarifications over time and even rethinks; hence the inclusion of light/temporary structures that on the one hand consolidate making the spaces of the cement works again usable, and on the other hand generate new ones. Through these interventions we want to protect the function of refuge for the diversity that the cement plays, as well as its important ecosystem value that should not be sold off in the name of profit.