The Othurtz is a requalification project of Franz Di Salvo's Vele (sails), the symbol of Scampia (a district in the northern side of Naples), famous for its crime and degradation problems, which testifies the failure of the modern mega structures and commuter district.
The claustrophobic living conditions and the strong demand of community spaces puts Scampia and its Vele at the center of architectural research on Italian suburbs.
The debate between those who puts the Vele in the center of the neighborhood problems and those who recognize a certain architectural value in them, resolved in the choice of demolishing three out of four Vele.
Leaving only one of the Vele, the currently empty lot M, amplifies its features: the recognized imprint on the landscape, the clear identity that it raises on who lives in it, the potential of being a public resource, arise obvious parallels with a mountain.
Transform the Vela into a true mountain, bend the paper to create a third dimension: this is the main goal.
Approaching the project in such a manner generates a challenge on researching both social and architectural issues.
It is obvious the desire to maintain a strong image of the Vela, while intervening with a gesture that enhances its monumentality.
For as much as the degraded image of the Vela reflects in the urban context, the mountain hopes to become the catalyst of new positivity.
It will be build using the debris resulting from the demolition of the other three Vele, not only to gain a considerable economic saving but, above all, to give a strong symbolic act: we do not want to demolish and forget the Vele, but rather to make it a fundamental and essential part of the new face of Scampia.
Looking at it from a different perspective, the demolition material assumes a constructive valence and, more importantly, the architectural connotation of the preserved Vela becomes a pretext to maintain a physical and figurative memory of the past.
The debris is piled up and entangled around the Vela, redefining its profile and finally making it three-dimensional.
The new volumetric capacity is a prerequisite to disclose the Vela to new and more public functions, making it a basin of attraction for the neighborhood.
An important role is played by the choice of functions: auditorium, library, cinema, gym and disco.
Placed into large volumes made of reinforced concrete, connected to the Vela via truss tunnels, such spaces achieve a structural function while being hidden under the mountain itself.
The truss system is inspired by mega-structures, such as bridges or dams, and it provides an evocative volumetric play, shifting from narrow and elongated spaces to wide environments. Such volumes are inspired by natural designs, like cave trails or anthills. Starting from this natural suggestion and to create a contrast with the organic shape of the outside mountain, we used geometric abstraction to restore pure forms and lines.
Our project aims to return the Vela to the inhabitants of Scampia, not by constructing a new symbol to bond with, but by re-evaluating what already exists, making it accessible and public. And nothing is more public than a mountain!