[QUADRATUM] is the title of a first tactical urban planning intervention by architect Luciana Montrone which concerns a larger project entitled “Living Void”, aimed at enhancing the urban voids within our cities. Urban space is often conceived as a pure functions connective space, which almost completely cancels the complexity of social relations, leading to destruction of local forms of living in cities. The contemporary city is constantly growing and it becomes increasingly difficult to fight the metropolitan hypertrophy that characterizes it; so that often attempts to produce places of exchange and relationships have led to the creation of non-places, that is, spaces without identity, relationships and history.
Urban voids have become perimeters of uncontrolled zoning, crossing places, with an idea of a museum-like public space that has taken on value only in relation to the fabric of which it’s a sterile and uncritical margin. Today the idea of public space is absent in widespread peripheral conurbations, or is replaced by specialized concentrations of commerce. Consequently, the identification of the inhabitant with their living space is becoming increasingly difficult.
The individual no longer needs to define his own identity through social exchange, but by chance he finds himself an integral part of indefinite crossing flows.
The goal of “Living Voids” is to create a connection between “homo socialis” and the city, thus identifying the centrality of neighborhood by recognizing the quality of public space, attracting and stimulating collective interest and making the area livable and accessible.
Carbonara, a suburb of the city of Bari, was the subject of an initial low-cost, fast and color-coded redevelopment intervention created following the collapse of a building in 2009.
The project objective was to introduce art in the historic center of the district and to raise awareness among citizens, through a social experiment, as the project was carried out with the active participation of the citizens themselves, promoting sociality and integration, also creating a stronger belonging bond to the territory, as the citizen will feel himself the main actor of the scene and not just an observer.
The protagonist is Piet Mondrian, who with his work “Composition of yellow red and blue” of 1929 inspired the project. The intention is to express harmony through the balance of relationships between lines, simple shapes such as square and rectangle and primary colors such as yellow linked to solar energy, red, the union between light and space and blue which symbolically refers to spirituality. A search for balance and formal perfection. Modrian’s art is a hymn to beauty and purity, it wants to be a real message of hope in a historical period like the present one.
Citizens responded positively, events for children are organized, sporting events such as yoga classes, etc. From “void” it has become, therefore, a “living” void.
Design: Luciana Montrone Architetto
Project Location: Carbonara di Bari, Bari, Italy
Typology: Tactical urbanism