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“Ricomincio da tre”: continuare la città recente a partire da una scuola d’infanzia


In the academic year 2015-2016, at the University of Palermo, a third-year architectural design course was dedicated to the theme of the kindergarten in Villaggio Peruzzo (Agrigento). Villaggio Peruzzo is an urban unit within an extensive system between the Valley of the Temples and San Leone; it is located near the confluence of the two rivers (S. Anna and San Biagio) in the Canale di San Leone (ancient Greek port); it is surrounded by farmland and made of public residential blocks around a square on which a church rises. Behind the parish, a school complex will be built. It is an opportunity to explore a settlement where a public neighbourhood, detached houses, agricultural fields shape a territory marked by an archaeological area. Within the Laboratory, urban and agricultural fabrics, as well as topography have been combined, guiding the definition of the proposals. In order to emphasise the reflection on urban relations and the iconic presence of the building, students were asked to imagine the kindergarten also as a pier of a wide cycle-pedestrian ground. Gardens for educational use, during the closure of the complex, should be destined for the town. Villaggio Peruzzo has an identity defined by the square and characterised by the landscape: the changing fields on the hills and the sea. However, the dialectic between town and countryside is weak: urban collective facilities lack and rural production is not significant, nor the use of the field for leisure. The school can play a catalytic role in the production of "urban sense"; it can be also an access to and from the countryside. The schools are places of social and community experiences for children and adults able to help in the completions of the suburbs where, like in Agrigento case of study, we don’t often start from scratch, but “from something” more that is already there, we start from three...