Title _ Researchers stopped in Eboli
Period _ 2023
Location _ Monticchio bagni, Italy
Status _ Entry, Two phased design competition

With _ Alice Monacelli and Filippo Prodi

The ecological and digital transition is a fundamental opportunity for the revitalisation of the country's small villages. The case of Monticchio Bagni is one of the most fascinating: a crossroads of regional cultures, son of an industrial tradition in search of a new future in an Italy in transition. The experimental agricultural centre for wine and olive oil will be one of the fundamental devices that will serve to introduce production-oriented research activities, to provide forms of demographic rebalancing capable of progressively reintroducing residentiality in the medium term.
The project takes shape from reflections on the landscape of the natural and semi-natural ecosystems of the Vulture Park: pastures, chestnut coppices and reforestations are an integral part of the landscape together with the agro-ecosystems.
In addition, there is the phenomenon of inversion of phytoclimatic belts, which guarantees an extraordinary variety of environments, which gradually fade into one another. In keeping with the characteristics of the terrain, our project moves along a gentle path that respects the difference in altitude, which starts at Casa Bramea, intersects the wooded strips, and enters the main plot, opening into a didactic walk through olive groves and vineyards, accompanies the visitor to the research hub and connects to the upper visitor centre. Two squares form the pivot from which the route develops, in front of the Casa Bramea and in the hub complex, an open-air educational space immersed in the olive grove. The path is a didactic and sensory route with colours, smells and different patterns following the planting patterns, bordered by shrub species from the region.

The main moment of the project was the insertion of the building in the landscape context, respecting the morphology of the land in order to merge into a unicum with the surrounding landscape: at the basis is the idea of conforming the volumes so as to enhance the promenade that connects the three polarities, lifting its mass into the air so as to remain permeable and an integral part of the path. The complex consists of two intersecting volumes, with a specific functional distinction: one block intended for the research centre, one for the auditorium. The resulting form dialogues with the landscape path itself. The research and laboratory block has a modular structure, as permeable as possible: it creates a flexible space, with multiple and distinct uses on a programmatic level. In the internal spatial configuration, the large central nave accommodates an entrance area, a cafeteria and the auditorium foyer. Specific research functions are developed on the sides: tasting rooms; classrooms; oil and wine laboratories.

The renovation of the Bramea Scout House has the ambition of being an exemplary case study for the recovery of underused building heritage. No structural changes are made; demolitions only concern internal partitions to minimise the environmental impact of the intervention. The use of existing spaces has been maximised, avoiding distribution elements: every room in the house is lived in and enjoys natural light and ventilation. The spatial subdivision is intended to guarantee different levels of privacy according to a gradient composition of spaces, divided by light structures to obtain the greatest possible degree of flexibility.

In order to increase the spaces available to researchers, light wooden mezzanines were built, also with a different degree of intimacy, so as to leave the possibility of both individual and collective study. The external volume is a volume with a series of cuts in which the openings are made, with energy-efficient windows, characterised by the two main energy-efficient elements: the insulation of the walls, in cork left exposed in its materiality, recalling the colours of the Lanari family's places of origin and the wooden volumes of the research centre; the bioclimatic solar greenhouses extending the rooms with a winter garden.

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