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ARCò | Alessio Battistella | Terra Viva Visiting Professor 05.07.2015

Renovation of "Wadi Abu Hindi Primary School" (2010), Palestine

ARCò - Architecture and Cooperation - has been founded by a group of young engineers and architects that understand Architecture as the “resolution of contingent problems through an aesthetic interpretation – and so, sensitive – of reality”. Such an approach has led ARCò to find and to contribute with its own skills, the world of International Cooperation in order to face and to solve architectural problems in emergency situations.

Location - Occupied Palestinian Territory, Area C, Bedouin Camp of Wadi Abu Hindi, Al Azarije

Sustainability is approached in a social sense by seeking different techniques suitable to the specific sites of action, enabling self-construction processes, in an economic sense through the choice of the building techniques, using recycled and/or recyclable materials, in the environmental sense through the use of renewable energy sources and passive bioclimatic architecture principles. A fundamental goal for every project is the transmission of knowledge and skills through a process of capacity building of techniques and principles which have always been present in the local historical context.

Interior view - Classroom

The rehabilitation project for the existing school responds to the constraints imposed by the Israeli authorities: the building had to keep the external layer of iron sheet and could not grow any single squared meter. There have been two main design themes: natural ventilation and isolation of the building. The existing roof has been substituted by sandwich panels, raised and inclined, generating new opening strips from different heights which allow the natural ventilation.

Outdoor Garden - Playground

The exterior walls have been modified with the technique of "pisè", becoming a multi-layer wall 34 cm thick, including an interior lime plastering, bamboo layer, straw and clay mass, existing exterior iron sheet, air chamber micro-ventilated and exterior panels of bamboo. The new partitions between the rooms have been re-built with mud bricks. The materials used have all been from a craftsman and/or local origin, and the works have been carried out by the inhabitants of the village, under the technical direction of ARCò.

External Facade

TerraViva Competitions

Recently created as a new branch of "TerraViva", this specific section proposes a series of design competitions in line with the topics addressed by our workshops and mainly directed to architecture students, new graduates and young designers.

TACTICAL URBANISM NOW! 2021 - The Reappropriation of Public Space will be the third competition of 2021. Starting from December 13th, registrations will be open until 18/03/2022.


December 13th "Tactical Urbanism NOW! 2021 - The Reappropriation of Public Space"; 10.000€ in Prizes; 10 Honorable Mentions; 30 Finalists; Submissions within 18/03/2022; Results on 26/04/2022; Jury:  Miralles Tagliabue EMBT (Barcelona), Public City (Winnipeg), Openfabric (Rotterdam); Orizzontale (Rome); Intuy Lab (Lima); Sports (New York); Atelier Nea (Paris); OBBA (Seoul);


September 10th "Hangar Ticinum - A Community Hub on the River"; 10.000€ in Prizes; 10 Honorable Mentions; 30 Finalists; Submissions within 10/12/2021; Results on 20/01/2022; Jury: Piuarch (Milan); TSPA (Berlin); Stefano Boeri Architetti (Milan); Operastudio (New York); Degli Esposti Architetti (Milan); Untitled Architecture (Moscow); Comune di Pavia (Pavia); Politecnico di Milano (Milan);

March 15th "The Living Museum - Micro-Architectures in the Landscape"7.000€ in Prizes; 10 Honorable Mentions; 30 Finalists; Submissions within 01/08/2021; Results on 13/09/2021; Jury: Topotek1 (Berlin); Elemental Architecture (New York); Stefano Boeri Architetti (Milan); Paredes Pedrosa (Madrid); NADAAA (Boston); One O One Architects (Seoul); Nicolas Campodonico (Rosario); Studio O (Berlin);

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