Client: Young Architects Competitions
Status: Competition (2019)
Clasification: Honour mention
Location: Mappano, Italy
Coordinates: 45.109369, 7.641247
Climate: Temperate, Humid subtropical
Scale: 555.000 ㎡ Small
Types: Refurbishment, Sport, Stadium
How can a sport venue contribute to strong minds, active bodies and produce cities?
Mappano is a city with a turbulent history. Showcasing this, the chosen site is interpreted as an empty void within the city fabric, almost like a subtraction (operation 2), where the traces of an agricultural and industrial background still dominate the environment.
The project’s main objective is to evoke a call for truce, bonding the city to the deepest feelings and emotions of its population and its territory. This intention is translated into the project in the form of two important axis that interconnect the entire site to its surroundings (operation 3)
In this Citadel, the protective and exclusive character of the walls, towers and bastions are torn down to give place to a rather unexpected fortification: a green ring surrounding the south border of Mappano (operation 4). The natural infrastructure links the two sides of the Pax Mappanese and generates a network of pathways embedded in culture and sport.
As in a team play, the program of the Pax Mappanese aims at promoting a wide variety of urban and collective events through a set of complementary built and unbuilt environments. Therefore, Pax Mappanese arises as a diverse sports neighbourhood (operation 5) where people do not olny practice, but truly dwell in the sports atmosphere.
In mappano, two characters of the historical conflict are predominant: the claim of a mappanese identity by its inhabitants standing against the imposed administrative borders. Therefore, the mission of this project is to enhance a historical truce (started in 2013, while promoted in 2017 when the first mappanese mayor was elected) between the policy makers and the people of Mappano. The state of affairs is set to be torn down by bonding the deepest cultural roots with political and economic prospects. Hence the name: PAX MAPPANESE.
Located southwest and southeast of Mappano, the intervention has the duty to represent not only the social, political and economic tensions already engraved in the territory, but also to introduce a new catalyst able to break the status quo and liberate the desires of the mappanese people. Furthermore, the new project should be able to enhance economic figures and develop the place in an active way. Since the local sport activities already represent an actual cutural trade found in the DNA of Piemont , a Sport City is seen as a great potential to meet the goals and objectives previously mentioned. This project tells the story of an affair between the city of Mappano and a historic regional treasure, which has shaped the character of several generations of local inhabitants, and built up an unexploited fortification greater than any wall ever built; sport, here, is more than a mere activity, it creates a sense of belonging and identity.
Rather then separate people into classes, races or strata, sport unifies them all, like in a team play. Hence, the “PAX MAPPANESE” creates a “city-qua-non” relation to the cities of Mappano and Turin, in which the conditions and context of the existing territory shapes the character of the sport citadel, creating a mutual symbiotic relation, paramount for the development and success of the parts involved. In this relation, the Alps, Piemont, Turin, Mappano and the PAX Mappanese become one well functioning organism that plays its role in a sustainable and active way.
How to design a timeless arena?
The design is based on a spatial urban organization: the arena itself is part of the axis connecting the city of Mappano to the Park located south of the territory. Therefore, as part of the most important pathway of the project, its position and function are paramount for the operation of the entire site.
The “polyvalent arena” does not only support sport activities, but also the unpredictability of life. Pax Mappanese Arena is conceived through an inside-out strategy, in which the user is able to explore its exteriors as much as its interiors, opening a wide variety of events that the arena can support. This expands the event capacity of the venue and makes its program endless.
Since the accesses are entirely based on ramps, the arena is conceived to be used by everybody, regardless of age and physical condition.
As a Cathedral, the arena is the sacred space of sport activity and the stage of public manifestations. This is the heart of Pax Mappanese, where history will be made and passed through by generations of fans and supporters.