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Infrastructure as interface. Thinking the urban and the high -speed station: italian case-studies.


This presentation will document some results of an ongoing research focusing on the role of infrastructure in contemporary design practice. The methodology is based on critical design theory and combines theoretical aspects with a case-study approach, at the junction of infrastructure, urban design and architecture. It is already well documented that 19th and 20th century infrastructure have deeply affected their programs in order to face new challenges over the last 30 decades. Railway stations are leading examples in this fields: they have gradually implemented their design, that already integrated commercial spaces and facilities, until involving in public space transformation. Instead, focusing on currents high speed stations in Italy, such as Torino Porta Susa, Florence Belfiorem and Rome Tiburtina, we can take into attention some aspects that are still to be examined. Analyzing how those fabrics act as urban-space definers, I would stress that prior residual conditions created by 19th and 20th century infrastructures – wherein parts of the city where disconnected or marginalized - are currently integrated in larger masterplans, in which the rail station acts as the primary integer of urban and architectural space.