“Although the process of formalization is the dominant trend in modern social life, informality is the essential element in constructing trust relationships and, thus, in any cooperative arrangement aimed at improving the quality of life. [...] Only a society that achieves an optimal balance between informality and formality of interactional practices is in position to create the conditions to cooperation and innovation»1. Water has accompanied both man’s life and landscape conformation, setting the rhythm of their changes and evolution and answering practical and symbolic needs. In this way it became an element of comunication or separation, means of defense but also possible source of danger. Life and man cannot be without it yet they need to protect themselves from it. Water thanks to its nature becomes promoter of human relations and artifice of different places (dockings along sea or river borders, terrace on water, places for recreation, places for rest, pauses inside cities...). If on one hand its role of basic common good has always been recognized, in modern times even entering everyday life on an individual level, on the other the presence of water in public open space, that in the beginning of the past century was regarded more as a threat and an obstacle to city expansion, losing its old aggregative and social character, nowadays it becomes renovating resource for urban requalification re-considering, re-interpreting and re-inventing its presence. This new role is assigned to water because it’s able to ignite unique possibilities of relation and use linked mainly, but not only, to evocative and symbolic qualities and also to functional and ludic values of this extraordinary element, since interacting with water it’s an informal and collective activity. Architectural elements of the project in contact with water aren’t really answering to a function but to an use/experience that man can have with it. The design of these elements changes the use of space and consequently the way to live places of the cities, offering new possibilities linked to an informality made by the presence of this element. If in architecture the use of water as actual construction material is clear (as Carlo Scarpa2 used it), grasping its potential gets more difficult when it becomes actively part of the space3 entrusted to the architectural design that will shape its features providing it with an informality that is necessary to render the place inhabitable and inhabitated. 1. Barbara A. Misztal. 1999. Informality: Social Theory and Contemporary Practice. London: Biddles Ltd. 2.«Scarpa lavorava l'acqua, lavorava la luce, lavorava le superfici dei soffitti a stucco lucido con piani fra loro inclinati per ottenere un certo riverbero dovuto al movimento della luce e dell'acqua e all'intersezione dei piani» R. Giovanardi, Carlo Scarpa e l'acqua, Cicero, Venezia, 2006. [Scarpa worked water, worked light, worked ceiling surfaces with polished plaster thanks to inclined planes, to obtaine some reverb due to light and water movement and to intersection of planes] Author translation. 3.(Raum): «it’s acting-and making space that speaks in the word space. This means to make a clearing, to consolidate. To make space brings freedom, openness for man to settle in and live in [...] to make space is to make a free gift of places. It is a happening that speaks and is hidden at the same time in making space» Heidegger, M., (1969). Die kunst der Raum, St. Gallen: Erker Verlag. (trad. It. Heidegger, M. (2000). L’arte e lo spazio. Genova: Il nuovo melangolo.

Informal Open Spaces Designed by Water

GALLIZIOLI, CATERINA
2013

Abstract

“Although the process of formalization is the dominant trend in modern social life, informality is the essential element in constructing trust relationships and, thus, in any cooperative arrangement aimed at improving the quality of life. [...] Only a society that achieves an optimal balance between informality and formality of interactional practices is in position to create the conditions to cooperation and innovation»1. Water has accompanied both man’s life and landscape conformation, setting the rhythm of their changes and evolution and answering practical and symbolic needs. In this way it became an element of comunication or separation, means of defense but also possible source of danger. Life and man cannot be without it yet they need to protect themselves from it. Water thanks to its nature becomes promoter of human relations and artifice of different places (dockings along sea or river borders, terrace on water, places for recreation, places for rest, pauses inside cities...). If on one hand its role of basic common good has always been recognized, in modern times even entering everyday life on an individual level, on the other the presence of water in public open space, that in the beginning of the past century was regarded more as a threat and an obstacle to city expansion, losing its old aggregative and social character, nowadays it becomes renovating resource for urban requalification re-considering, re-interpreting and re-inventing its presence. This new role is assigned to water because it’s able to ignite unique possibilities of relation and use linked mainly, but not only, to evocative and symbolic qualities and also to functional and ludic values of this extraordinary element, since interacting with water it’s an informal and collective activity. Architectural elements of the project in contact with water aren’t really answering to a function but to an use/experience that man can have with it. The design of these elements changes the use of space and consequently the way to live places of the cities, offering new possibilities linked to an informality made by the presence of this element. If in architecture the use of water as actual construction material is clear (as Carlo Scarpa2 used it), grasping its potential gets more difficult when it becomes actively part of the space3 entrusted to the architectural design that will shape its features providing it with an informality that is necessary to render the place inhabitable and inhabitated. 1. Barbara A. Misztal. 1999. Informality: Social Theory and Contemporary Practice. London: Biddles Ltd. 2.«Scarpa lavorava l'acqua, lavorava la luce, lavorava le superfici dei soffitti a stucco lucido con piani fra loro inclinati per ottenere un certo riverbero dovuto al movimento della luce e dell'acqua e all'intersezione dei piani» R. Giovanardi, Carlo Scarpa e l'acqua, Cicero, Venezia, 2006. [Scarpa worked water, worked light, worked ceiling surfaces with polished plaster thanks to inclined planes, to obtaine some reverb due to light and water movement and to intersection of planes] Author translation. 3.(Raum): «it’s acting-and making space that speaks in the word space. This means to make a clearing, to consolidate. To make space brings freedom, openness for man to settle in and live in [...] to make space is to make a free gift of places. It is a happening that speaks and is hidden at the same time in making space» Heidegger, M., (1969). Die kunst der Raum, St. Gallen: Erker Verlag. (trad. It. Heidegger, M. (2000). L’arte e lo spazio. Genova: Il nuovo melangolo.
Rethinking the Urban
9786055120245
water; open spaces; informality; requaliication
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/784321
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