Competition _ Masterplan of the former Sani Barracks _ Bologna

PLACE: Bologna (BO)
TYPE: Masterpaln
STATUS: International competition
YEAR: 2017
BANDITOR ENTITY: CDP Investimenti sgr
PROJECT: MFa _ Mauro Frate architects
TEAM: Mauro Frate (group leader), with Nicola Rossi, Augusto Andriolo, Anna Magrin, Pietro Tommasi

The overall urban environment in which the area of the former Sani barracks is located appears as a system potentially well connected to the city and rich in quality spaces, but currently hardly enhanced because it is included between important fences that deny the relationships to the North and East. The sites of the railway, the ring road and via Stalingrado reinforce this condition. Similarly, the social composition of the neighborhood, which imposes the coexistence of different ethnic groups, lifestyles and generations, constitutes, despite the difficulty, an opportunity for the invention and experimentation of those new individual and collective spaces claimed by citizens\' associations active in the area. The project proposal therefore intends to re-found the system of relationships, investigating it at two extreme scales but competing in the precise definition of space and functions: the scale of the city on the one hand, the scale of housing and work spaces on the other. The masterplan is the result of these different actions. The project assumes the possibility that the railway line may in the future be transformed into a surface metro line, a fast East-West connection that does not currently exist. In this perspective the project identifies a second East-West axis, pedestrian and bicycle, to connect the finer-grained structure of the center. A further pedestrian and bicycle system will cross the area along the North-South axis. The site of the current bike path will thus be able to accommodate again a section of public rail mobility.
The project considers the area as part of a larger multifunctional green infrastructure. An urban forest that, if the contiguous operations of redevelopment are carried out, will be one of the spines able to connect Bologna and its northern countryside through different degrees of vegetation and collective equipments. An infrastructure suitable to contain the multiple devices to implement and ensure urban sustainability: arcades and photovoltaic canopies for energy autonomy, small basins for the retention of rainwater, woonerf roads intended as social spaces rather than channels to convey mobility. The redevelopment of the former Sani barracks is the first step in a process that will involve other areas, some more important in the hierarchy of urban facilities. Imagining the system of relationships at the scale of the city is therefore fundamental at this stage, so that the operation constitutes an engine of change and does not inhibit future opportunities.