The persistance of the ruins


AUTHOR: A. G. Alvarez, M. Lopez
PLACE: Firenze, Italy
YEAR: 2017
STATUS: Unbuilt
INSTAGRAM [1]: @alghezzi
INSTAGRAM [2]: @mig_lopez


In the research process of the ruins of the abandoned town of Castiglioncello di Firenzuola, one pale but distinct truth appeared to our minds. While observing the remnants of the Classical Age, it’s possible to perceive a sense of collective power and grandeur that makes the architecture talk for itself, the ruins of a more modest, rural medieval town express an unbreakable bond between modest life and architectural forms.

The many researches made in the postwar Italy about medieval urban planning, and in particular the ones by Luigi Piccinato and Edoardo Detti, helped to shape even more this theme on a theoretical level. To create spaces that reflect such a spirit, it means to ask ourselves about what kind of new life this place wants to sustain.

The idea was to build ateliers and workspaces for local artists, in order to let them enjoy a calm and peaceful environment to concentrate all of their energies in the creative processes. Despite its striking modern concrete façade, the projects follows two immediate perception of the ruins, The construction of the volumes was made using the original measures of the collapsed buildings. And thus, respecting them on a spiritual (and not superficial) level.

In the design process, we tried to abstract the perceptive elements of the borgo, such as cuts, tangential views, and complex pathways that often change their ground level. In addition, we use three different approaches by building on ruins: by small detachement, completion or construction between the single ruined walls themselves.

The project sees two study houses divided by a bar with an exposition room. The exposition room evokes the vertical element of the belltower.


Alberto Ghezzi Alvarez  and Miguel Lopez are two architecture students at the University of Florence, Italy. They are currently attending thier 5th year of studies. They are currently interested in the general public perception of new interventions in old city tissue, and how digital aesthetics can relate to traditional architecture.

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