International Architecture-Worksphop “Histaormina“
by Lebbeus Woods and Guy Lafranchi

Taormina, Sicily – Italy



“Globalization and sense of the multiethnic. The contact with the earth. Dustprints of the site suggest our purpose”

An uneasiness appear when we talk about to construct, to demolish, to pull down or simply to modify an historical structure that has been preserved during the time and thus telling us its history today. The Corso Umberto has a tourist and economic cultural connotation, an axis that has adapted to the changing requirements of the “urban life” of the last century, asserting Taormina in world-wide tourist and cultural panorama. The study of the Corso Umberto in Taormina has carried me to the choice of positioning me outside the urban axis. The intervention, any intervention, doesn’t need to be a subtraction or an addiction to the existing structure but a “continuation”. The personal choice to continue, to develop and to study the movements of those who are living within this axis. The individuals have participated and they still participate daily to a urban theatrical representation where anyone is actor and spectator in the same place. To understand that the spaces and the distances make interaction between the people. To be with a certain distance from another person has a meaning that acquires various values in the various cultural models. The concept that I have developed by the study of the proxemic (semiologic discipline of the space that say not to conserve or to destroy but to make us remember that we ignore the language of the space and the value of a relationship can assume if based on distances). With an analogous, I make conceptually my personal transposition of an individual, a group of individuals and their respective distances, proposing aggregation and disintegration. By creating spaces compressed and rarefied where the emptiness is a key element in order to read the architectural diagram: close-open. Every single man is represented by a surface, thus developing clearly a kinaesthetic representation, cuts, acute angled, faces of plans brushing each other allowing to the light and the look-in to penetrate into intimate spaces. Surfaces sometimes bend in to signal protection, other times expanded or opened so they don’t necessarily need to “talk” together. My final project emphasize these intensities and canalise them into energetic forms. Hoping that this flow and all this intensities can continue to grow in the third millennium. Also the distances, the relationships, are expressed in the collaboration for a common final plan. An installation allows every individual project to dialogue in various way with the other projects or with itself. Various energies and complex aggregations of meanings generate a creature that synthesizes the arduous relationship with the individuals, they merge themselves without losing their own independent values.

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