Fornace del Bersaglio
The intervention is located in the hills near the city of Faenza. It consists of the redevelopment of a furnace of the early XXth century closed after the war. The furnace was composed of two Hoffmann ovens for brick firing, a few buildings for clay processing and an external area for brick drying before the final stage in the oven (the piezometer tower seen in the intervention is the water tank for the brick watering). The external area has a perfectly smooth floor where carriages could move on tracks that lead directly to the furnace. Due to the type of soil of the area (it was formerly a clay pit), the “industrial` area developped in the first hills of the countryside near Faenza. Although the remaining structure of the furnace was basically a ruin, the whole area is protected by the City Council. The intervention is part of an urban project aiming at the redevelopment of the furnace and its surroundings. The project concerns especially an area used in the past for the brick drying and represents the first step in the financing of the furnaces’ restoration. The structure of the landscape designed by the urban project grows out of a specific situation: an industrial island with a rural background, a “village` where public and private merge. The residential area, composed of patio houses, appears like a lively garden shaded by one variety of tree: a field maple that maintains a nice yellow colour during the whole autumn. Immediately under the foliage of the maples there are the buildings, with their roof gardens. When coming down, we meet the wooden pergolas for the cars and the walls that surround the internal courtyards. There are 34 patio houses, spread at the ground floor with two patios each: one includes the pergola for cars and a green area, while the other is a garden. The accommodations generally have small dimensions, either two-roomed or three-roomed apartments, and they have an L or T configuration, or even several different configurations. Each apartment has 2 parking spaces, a portico, two patios and a small wooden shelter for the garden tools. The green-grey plastered walls, the doors and the windows face the small courtyards. The aggregation of the patio houses creates a compact urban structure, where the driveways and walkways, of different sizes, form an empty space among the brick fences, or are a contact and mediation point between the countryside and the built area. Our intent is to promote a way of living in the countryside, in a horizontal block, where everyone has a relationship with the exterior: private in the patios, collective in the green surrounding areas and in the public spaces. The peculiarities of the houses reveal a great care in the choice of materials. It has wooden beams that also support the green roofs. The load bearing structures are in bearing masonry and in lime plaster mixed with coarse aggregates, while the sidewalk and all the external pavements are in wooden slats. The proposal introduces a collective way of life in the countryside where each house benefits from privacy even in the open spaces: a house with a private courtyard is the nearest typological reference. The contact with the rural landscape is a privilege of all houses designed as an island in the middle of a green area.


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