2011. eVolo skyscraper competition | Gaetano Principale | Architettura & Grafica

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2011. eVolo skyscraper competition

Progetti & Concorsi

La Valle del Diavolo (The Devil’s Land) is a great geothermic field placed in the middle of Tuscany region, Italy. Since prehistoric times the valley with its steam emissions has filled the imagination of local populations, inspiring among them also Dante Alighieri and its description of Hell written in the Divine Comedy. In recent times the area has been exploited for industrial purposes leading to an experimental production of boric acid for farmaceutic uses during all the 19th century following the technical ideas and innovations of Francesco De Larderel who gave its name to the workers village of Larderello. Slow decline of boric acid production, due to low requests by markets, saw the growth of electric power production during all the 20th century, so that, nowadays, Larderello area is the largest geothermic field of the world and the first in electric power production.
The progress of technologies and the use of computers have caused a slow but constant decline of Larderello population reducing it to almost a ghost village inhabited only by the few technicians needed to run the plants. Infact of seven initial cooling towers, only one is still functional overcome by new and more efficient way to exploit all the energy contained into steam. One of this has been even demolished. Living Tuscany we are aware of its beauty and its delicate equiliber between nature and historic human footprint so that immediatly we took care of this situation of social decay betting on the unique possible solution of this region: the renovation and re-use of the industrial plants into a modern way of life.

The seven cooling towers of Larderello are perfect to unify the various themes of the competition and to give new force and new powers to an almost abandoned land beliving that this is the best way to make a sustainable project in a very peculiar land. The mainstream of the project has been constanty into the path of Dante Alighieri’s description of Hell extracting from it the Seven Sins and giving them a modern suit able to bring new life into the village. The sins are conceived to be an extreme vision of the Devil’s Valley restoring it to its initial perception of fear for unknown forces, for supernatural deity, for the devil footprint:

Envy: the continous run against time flowing by is the modern image of envy, people unable to accept itself as it is and looking for a different aestethic. The beauty center, the body care, the aesthetic surgery center are the instruments to look someone else.

Gluttony: one of the pleasures of life is surely eating, and Tuscany is the perfect place to live this sin with its traditions and good wine.

Sloth: the land of devil with all its sins needs a place of comforts to relax from the lavish way of life Wrath: an arena for everykind of fight, an arena to scream, to yell, to release the anger of an ordinary life usually involved into strict rules without chances of free expression.

Greed: no place for greed in the land of devil. This sin is represented by an empty space in the place of the demolished tower rebuilding it with just rays of light. Lust: the most human of the sins it represents the opposite of spirituality with places to live sex as it comes without any moral law and without worries.

Pride: the will to rise the social stair just using a random luck in a Casino’ symbolize the complete distance from ordinary duties from efforts to improve your own life with the sweat of work.

Il progetto partecipa alla: Skyscraper Competition 2011

Gruppo di lavoro: Arch.Gaetano Principale, Arch.Mario Cenci, Ing.Giuseppe Magliano, Ing.Edoardo Marchetti, Arch.Nicola Marmugi.