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"THE LIVING MUSEUM" | Terra Viva Workshop n°2 | Sardinia + Milan | October 2018

"Ghost Stories: How to Rethink Urban Voids"

Orani, a small city of 3,000 inhabitants, sits in the rugged interior of the island of Sardegna, about 30 km from Nuoro. The hilly region, known as the Barbagia, was once famous for its bandits. In previous times the local economy was sustained by talcum mines and leather, wood, and ceramic crafts, as well as the typical agricultural base of olives, grain, and wine. The artist Costantino Nivola was born here in 1911, but made his fame in New York during the 1950s as the “architect’s sculptor”. After his death in 1988, a foundation was established and a small museum dedicated to his work was established inside of the old washhouse, on the southern edge of Orani.

Since the museum’s opening in 1994, the initial architect Peter Chermayeff, completed an additional pavilion in 2001, known as the “Sandcast”, supplemented by a formal garden designed by Sebastiano Gaias in 2009 with winding paths, rills, and fountains. A competition in 2008 for a major addition to the Museo Nivola was won by Gianfranco Crisci, completed in 2012 and installed in 2013. A new installation of the collection was completed in 2016 under the direction of the Museum’s director Antonella Camarda and the President of the Nivola Foundation, Giuliana Altea.

In this fifth workshop organized by TerraViva Workshops, under the rubric "The Living Museum", and associated with the Politecnico di Milano, students will be engaged in researching and proposing solutions for urban, social, and landscape issues. The Nivola Museum sits in a spectacular natural site below the pilgrimage mountain of Monte Gonare. Aside from the gardens already installed, the museum owns over 20 hectares of land, some of it olive terraces, and one stone quarry area that forms a natural amphitheater. For a variety of reasons there is a historic rift between the city and the museum, even though most citizens identify with Nivola.

Over the past five years, TerraViva Workshops have worked on mobility issues, such as transportation to Orani, parking, pedestrian connections to the town, the access to the abandoned mines beyond Orani, and the value of a community gardens on the museum grounds. Tourism is another big theme. Each year there are an estimated 3 million tourists who come to Sardegna (the island only has 1.5 million permanent residents), but the majority are beach tourists. The interior is graced with spectacular unruined landscapes, and marvelous archeological sites with over 7000 Iron-age Neolithic Nuraghe towers.

Students will visit and analyze the local urban and natural landscapes, consider the urban and cultural functions of the land, theorize new connections considering factors of local identity, economic prospects, ecological concerns, tourism, museality, and urban agriculture.

The final projects will be presented both at the museum in Orani and at the Politecnico in Milan. The participants will fly directly to Olbia and will be transported to Orani on Oct 11th. The return to Milan has been planned for the evening of Oct. 14th.

Tutors: Prof. Alessandro Floris (2F_Architettura), Prof. Richard Ingersoll (PoliMi_Syracuse University), Prof. Marco Bovati (PoliMi), Prof. Arian Afshari Heidari (PoliMi), Arch. Narges Mofarahian (AgriShelter), Arch. Eugenia Bolla (Earth Service), Arch. Stefano Lardera (TerraViva).

- Submissions at:

- Location: Politecnico di Milano (Campus Leonardo) + Nivola Museum (Orani)

- Credits: 4CFU

- Dates: from Thursday 11/10 to Sunday 14/10 in Sardinia + Revisions on Tuesday 16/10 and Final Presentation on Thursday 18/10 at Politecnico di Milano

- Program: The Official Schedule and Time-table will be released by the end of the 2nd week of September

- Facebook/Instagram Pages: Workshop.Terraviva

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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