Fiume, Baranzate MI, Italy, 2020
ALETHEIA - Philo
The term ALETHEIA indicates what comes out of oblivion by letting itself be seen after being hidden, that is, what is revealed.
The oldest documents concerning Baranzate, the site of the project, and its inhabitants date back to 1235 and confirm the existence of the municipality itself.
Between the end of the fourteenth and the end of the fifteenth century, Baranzate is an exclusively agricultural village with a central nucleus, surrounded by farms and vineyards, consisting of a set of farmhouses or farmsteads and whose territory is crossed by numerous streams and fountains.
In 1450 the period of the Sforzesca Dynasty began and the cultivation of mulberry trees was introduced on the territory, aimed at the breeding of silkworms, which ended around 1930 due to the advent of artificial silk.
At the end of the nineteenth century, silkworm farming was the main source of income for peasant families with the presence of 2243 mulberry trees in the area.
For almost five centuries, the cultivation of mulberry trees and silkworms have been the main resource of the municipality, joining in an indissoluble way to the city and its history.
In the municipal coat of arms, we can find a branch of mulberry in memory of a history today perhaps forgotten.
The goal of the project has been to reintegrate the forgotten history of this city, making it emerge from oblivion.
The mulberry and the silkworm thus become the undisputed protagonists of the design intervention, as well as the "conductive threads" in the choices of form and sense. The action will not only contribute to the creation of spaces that are functional to the lives of citizens, but it also aims to bring the population closer to what has been a past historical identity. To do this, it was decided to design reversible and light structures, united by the fact of owning a double core: a rigid wireframe structure in steel and a filamentous element that, in parallel with the worm, takes possession of it, covering it.
The result is "Philo", which becomes not only a metaphor of conjunction between past and present but also symbolically assumes the task of giving life to a place where people can meet and enrich each other.
Designed to welcome nocturnal adventurers, the dens look like cocoons suspended between the branches of the trees. They are supported by steel cables attached to branches and trunks by a non-invasive mechanism for the plant.
Accessible by circular entrances and visible through mirrors along the walkway below, the cells are reachable through ladders with iron rungs, they consist of a rigid structure and are covered by a waterproof and fire-resistant membrane that also provides UV protection.
In the darkest hours, they appear externally as lanterns if illuminated by guests who stay overnight.
Following the request of the client to keep the soccer pitch unchanged and by noticing the absence of grandstands to attend the matches, the Ilinx borns, combining the games of vertigo and the silkworm look.
The structure assumes an L shape going along half the perimeter of the pitch, conceived as a scaffolding that supports a lifesaving network. It develops on several levels that give the possibility of a unique point of view on the matches together with the unexpected thrill of Ilinx.
Born as a place of confrontation and personal growth, the "Maieutica" was designed inspired by the shape of cocoons within which the worm metamorphoses.
It is a wireframe steel structure covered with double-looking ETFE strips, colored inside and white outside.
From the pre-existing curved wall, emerges a seat with wooden steps, effectively transforming the wall, from an element of division to the fulcrum of the interaction between people. The flooring uses regenerated railway sleepers, recovered from disused stations, located near the bowling alley.