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"The Urban Sponge IV" Workshop | Site Survey @ Vaiano | 29.11.19

November 29, 2019

Molino Bardazzi belongs to the heritage of last century’s productive buildings in Vaiano. The current structure was built in the 1940’s, but the presence of the mill in this area dates to before 1919, when it was bought by Bardazzi Family. Today, the flour production of the mill is part of a territorial production system called Gran Prato, a filiera corta, a “local supply chain” project born in 2011, with the aim of sustaining and adding value to the local economy. Gran Prato is an association that coalesces various activities working within the production cycle: wheat growers, the mill, and commercial activities (bakeries, restaurants, shops). 


While the Bardazzi mill belongs to this larger scale concept, it lacks a deeper connection to the closer scale with the Municipality of Vaiano. Considering that it currently has reached a production cycle at its maximum, the owners recently started to investigate the possibilities of adding a new layer to this productive building, which would involve socio-cultural activities. Through the organization of events, the creation of networks of citizens, the attention to existing tourist itineraries, and the possibilities of renting space, the Bardazzi family hopes to catalyze around the mill a new kind of interest, which is not necessarily linked to production. In order to achieve this goal a strategic plan should be undertaken to establish new physical connections with Vaiano’s built and natural environment, while considering new infrastructures that could accommodate the new opportunities to keep the mill alive. 


The Bardazzi Mill stands at the crossing of three systems: private, public and natural. The studies of the workshop should attempt to define possible collaborations between the Mill and Vaiano’s socio-cultural environment in order to create a sustainable mixed-use program for the site. This task should take into account already existing or possible functions to be combined with the production. This multi-layered program should also be supported by a redefinition of some spaces.


In terms of the urban environment how could the site be re-thought so that it increases its capacity of attraction and visibility?


Which are the possible trajectories to be defined for the natural system? Is it possible that this layer, which belongs to a more extended territorial system, supports the goal of connecting the site to the city?


In terms of scale, could the strategies and interventions be studied to act on different ranges (extra small - furniture / medium - exterior spaces / larger - urban integration?  


Photo Credits © Eugenia Bolla








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Our Soil, Our Commons,  Our Future

A new vision for Planetary Citizenship 


“Upon this handful of soil our survival depends. Husband it and it will grow our food, our fuel, and our shelter and surround us with beauty.

Abuse it and the soil will collapse and die, taking humanity with it”


From  Vedas Sanskrit Scripture

1500 BC


November2019 "The Urban Sponge IV", TerraViva  Workshop n°3, PoliMi  +  Earth Service  +  ECòL  + Chì-nà

February 2020 "Tactical Urbanism II", TerraViva Workshop n° 4, PoliMi  + Earth Service  +  Needle 

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