Turin and Milan as “alpine” cities. Having lost a vast alpine region for which it had been an administrative and cultural reference point, Torino had, and did so very successfully, to rebuild and continuously renew a relationship with its Alps, so drastically downsized to fit the needs and balances of an industrial society first and of a post-industrial one later. The result was a conscious contemporary condition, which distinguished Torino from the other large city on the edge of the Alps, Munich, to which the rural highlands and the mountains offered ambiguous roots. History – the rational reconstruction of the past which identifies actors and choices, places them in time and marks the differences - has won by far over tradition, continuity, over those very long, almost imperceptible periods of time where nature counterbalances the urban environment, which human action submits to. Moreover, this smaller, closer and more accessible space, with which, from its incorporation as a city and as a capital, from the second half of the sixteenth century, it established stronger economic ties, including for supplying building materials, from stone to wood, to iron, made its influence, the imprint of its architects, its function as a driving force, more penetrating and more clearly recognisable, so clearly spelled out up to the last decade with the Olympic Games. This passage, this self-organisation of the Alpine space is essential in order to understand the reciprocal interplay between it and Milano, which is certainly less obvious because it is of a different nature. Unlike Torino, Milano does not have its own mountain - despite it not being geographically further away –, probably because it has too many mountains. Its central location in relation to the transport network, meant that tourism from Milano – since the Alps gradually became a tourist target during the nineteenth century within a problematic competition with the much more popular lakes – was dispersed from the Val d'Aosta to the Valcamonica, from Ossola to the Dolomites, from Brescia’s and Bergamo’s Pre-Alps to the Giudicarie, that it crossed the Swiss border more than willingly, from Valais to Upper Engadin, and that the cultural and economic investments were distributed - or perhaps better yet were watered down – from the zoning plan by the BBPR in Valle d'Aosta to the hotel by Ponti in Val Martello . If we look at longer periods of time, in order to avoid the distortions that observing too limited settings may create, it is easier to grasp that the influence of Milano has a predominantly economic and structural core, which translates into a recognisable political and cultural dimension, following this much broader and ever-changing geography, without there being an institutional dependence. We need at least to wonder how much the strategy of small steps - of conservation as saving resources, as a more conscious and complex moment of managing the historical housing stock, in a society and in places where it is insane to produce further stock, often in terms of substitution as well – may be a way to make built-up areas more intelligent, to make the profession of architect more alive, to take on Sisyphus’ labours in order to adapt spaces to contemporary cultures and uses, i.e., whether perhaps conservation may be one of the keys in order to rethink architecture.
|Titolo:||Le Alpi minacciose e minacciate|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||02.1 Contributo in Volume|