Under the direction of architect Dario Cottone, the young Italian firm recently won an international competition in the historical center of Caltanissetta, Sicily. Cottone’s project focuses on a red ribbon that aims to link the older historic parts of the 16,000 square meter site with the emerging contemporary areas.
Further project description and more images after the break.
Cottone’s ribbon is not a way to separate the vastly different time periods but rather an attempt to unite the two. The ribbon is a continuous fluid element that runs through the streets, across the facades, and through buildings in the site. The flexibility of vinyl-ester resin and glass fiber reinforcements allows the ribbon to flow through the site organically because the form is not constrained by material qualities.
Seating elements branch off the main ribbon’s path, and yet are visually connected through materiality. The clusters of seating create newly defined areas and the lighting system, known as “Light needles”, is arranged strategically to emphasis specific spaces.
By creating a continuous element to unite the site, Cottone and his team created a way for the old and new to be in constant dialogue, rather than compete with one another. The ribbon connects both and allows their differences to be juxtaposed in a way that is complimentary. New areas do not seem extraneous to the city, but rather a valuable part of the dialogue. Without one part, the other would not be as powerful.
The project was a team effort with the help of Marzia Casamento, Alessandro Fonte and Loredana Mortellaro.