The Italian coastal city of Trieste was one of the chosen locations for FUTURE CITIES IP. Its urban center is diametrically opposed to the urbanity of Berlin. Demographically speaking, Trieste is an old city that has seen minimal change in its urban structure over decades. Simultaneously, Trieste is culturally rich due to its intricate location at the crossroads of Latin, Germanic and Slavic cultures. It is a city with atmospherically intriguing and unique micro ambiences. Located between the sea and the hilly backdrop, Trieste overwhelms you with its beauty and thrills you upon seeing its urban development potentials.
Paradoxically, the main factor that inhibits the city’s current development is the same one that contributed to its development in the past: the seaport. It stretches along the city’s coast-line and almost entirely cuts the city off from the sea ( with the exception of the area near Trieste’s main square ). The physical access to the sea is prohibited by the seaports’ different property and management structures. The seaport is made up of a deserted old seaport ( Porto Vecchio ), a functioning new seaport ( Porto Nuovo ) and an industrial seaport ( Porto Industriale ).
Singular Architectural Objects
The FUTURE CITIES studio proposes seven singular architectural objects on seven key locations within the old and new seaport. The locations vary according to accessibility and their implementation in the city’s urban fabric. The proposed program for each object considers its specific location. Each location offers a diverse program that focuses on public space in order to attract visitors and citizens and contribute to the activation of object’s location.
The seven objects cover: a 1 research center, a 2 regatta center, an 3 info center and entrance a, a 4 spa and 4 wellness center, a 5 landscape bridge, a 6 port authorities tower and a 7 start-up center.
The singular architectural objects are planned and designed to open the seaport and reconnect the city with the sea. Each object has a surface area that opens to the city on the one side and to the sea on the other. The transition through an object is designed to be as smooth as possible. Each object’s inner organization allows for multiple and atmospheric micro ambiences that create rich spatial experiences. The early stages of the design process focus on the activation of urban development within the objects’ immediate surrounding. The future stages of development propose a transformation of the city’s entire structure through the interaction of all seven singular architectural objects.
The FUTURE CITIES IP concluded with ‘urban speculations’ – scenarios that speculate the impact that porous Place-Activators may have on a city’s urban fabric. They project new spatial sequences and possible urban events in the future. They are a post festum urban analysis and an indicator of the catalytic strength of porosity. The program emphasizes design-based research in form of urban speculation. The project proposals not only become indicators of the Trieste’s architectural fabric in the future, but activators of the city’s development. Architectural design is a starting point for urban transformation!