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

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

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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