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Sostenibilità fra preesistenze storiche e città contemporanea


The ZEN district in Palermo, Sicily, is a proving ground for the experimentation of sustainability of architecture in outskirts. In the historical city centre, the consistency of the used materials ensures a long duration of the buildings, as well as an efficient protection of the internal spaces. A for centuries consolidated urban structure configures an environment, which the inhabitants recognize as appropriate to their living. That is generally different to the outskirt this project is about. The project of residencies between ZEN 2 and Cortile Gnazziddi hypothesizes a consolidation of an existing city by adding a new building. Therewith shall be filled a crack due to interventions of diverse epochs. The project’s architecture is supposed to be highly related to its context and is contemporarily proper to ensure the best possible alignment of the housing estates, providing an advantageous energetic layout. A workgroup has tried to bundle and extract existing information of technical physics, technology, town planning and composition in order to elaborate a unitary project. The objective is to ensure the duration, physics and aesthetics, of the work, which means to propose a sustainable architecture. Today, where more and more plants of renewable energy become accessible to the broad population and where the saving of energy has become central topic in discussions, it seems necessary to integrate this reflection into the architectonical project: the plants, such as other numerous variables of the time and space we live in, must be part of the project itself. This is the sense behind the design of the jacket that covers the new buildings in the ZEN district, with its solar panels thought as big sunblinds that protect courts and gardens. It is the sense of a continuous conjunction of urban characteristics with the needs of comfort and of our environment.