The International Competition The Europe’s Become aims to select the best proposals to represent and to preserve the perception of Europe, with its history, its values and its future.
Tolerance, democracy, justice and freedom are some of the common and basic values of european identity that have their roots in the greek-roman culture and in the Enlightenment period. The emerging and development of these values has covered the whole European history, it charac- terizes its present and it will be the basis for the future: a multicultural society that respects its tradi- tions, but itʼs open to new ideas, inputs and demands that come from all over the world.
The biggest challenge in the future of European Union is to combine its identity based on multiple and mutable identities, with the growing presence of people from other cultural areas outside its borders that is bringing working force and resources but at the same time itʼs in need of acceptan- ce and integration policies.
During the last decade immigration to southern Europe has grown exponentially, this part of the continent that has always been the cradle of European culture it has nowadays become the land of call for migrants willing to cross seas and deserts to get there. The Mediterranean Sea has become the grave of desperate people with no name. This shore of Europe is the new frontier between two worlds, but it is also the land of first asylum where the strongest European values should be heard most.
After the Schengen Agreement that frees and opens exchange of goods and labor within Europe- an Union, the immigration issue has moved to the outer borders, especially in four key areas where there is the main pressure of external flows. Lampedusa is the most distant and exposed to the arrivals of migrants and therefore it is the most interesting from the point of view of identity and belonging in a no-manʼs-land.
The project idea aims to redefine the concept of reception and assistance for thousands of people that for days are forced to stay on the island, in a place that shows the encounter between euro- pean ambassadors of values of hospitality and solidarity from one side, and a humanity in despe- rate need of help on the other.
The design is composed of several elements that are there to symbolize it.
The long underground volume, in which it is incorporated and redesigned the Maritime station, is the first place of welcome and assistance for those arriving in Lampedusa, both tourists and immi- grants.
The steps at the entrance of the harbor bay, is the place where people can rest, meditate and pray, watching the sea and their homelands. These artificial terraces follow the rocks and integra- te into the Mediterranean landscape.
Behind a skin-wall are placed small and dense volumes hosting different functions, opened both to the Europeans citizen and foreign people, which explain and show the values of European culture.
Finally the tower with its "wide-gazing" resembles the Sentinel of Europe who gives the signal to open the physical and ideological borders to new cultures. It also acts as a wind tower for natural cooling of the building underground, as in the Arab architectural tradition.
Status: Competition Entry
Location: Lampedusa, IT
My Role: Main Architect