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Borgo degli Angeli urban renewal in Rome

Part 2 Project 2009
Cristina Casadei
Università degli Studi Roma Tre Rome Italy
On the outskirts of Rome, the railway linking the centre to the south of Italy at its back, stands the Borgo degli Angeli, named after the homonymous street, which is the most ancient sign of anthropization.
Since the beginning of the ‘900, the area belonged to the pastoral scenery of the vast agro romano (countryside around Rome area) landscape. Arid and inhospitable, abandoned since the late ancient age, this area remained long uninhabited.
In fact, only after the second world war, the housing emergency brought to the expansion of the city towards the peripheral areas. New urban conglomerations ended up depositing in these places that for centuries have remained unchanged in their character. Like in other peripheral areas, also in the Borgo degli Angeli, the recent fabric, result of the uncontrolled development, clashed with territorial infrastructures, such as aqueducts and consular roads that from the ancient times characterize the agro romano landscape.
The aim of the project is to improve the Borgo Angelico disciplining the conglomeration, which presently lies in strong decay, both because of the crumbling buildings and because of the lack of basic infrastructure. The plan concentrates on the block presenting the most critical situation, using a method that could be valid for the all quarter: the part for the whole.
Starting from the analysis of the current state of affairs, the aim of the project is to clarify the layout where the urban conglomerate originally settled: the parcelling out of the area that imposed a low-storey-patio houses building type. Where the simple maintenance intervention could not make the difference and where the facilities are more crumbly, the demolition will be considered as a solution. The new low-storey high-density fabric will offer an increase of usable housing surfaces.
The vitality of the quarter is furthermore achieved by introduction of public spaces into the block, overlooked by stores and craftwork shops, located at the ground floor of the buildings.
The green areas near the quarter are designated as parks so that the Borgo could belong to a system that rejoins, by a pathway, the great roman aqueducts.

Cristina Casadei

Cristina Casadei's project focuses on the urban renewal and on the architectural improvement of the Borgo degli Angeli housing estate. The area, self-built from the same current inhabitants after the second world war, is near Tor Pignattara quarter, in the southeast outskirts of Rome.
The aim of the project is to apply a methodology of study to a fragment of marginal city: a sample of urban structure that presents the characteristic forms of physical and social disorder that distinguish contemporary life in urban areas with high transformation. The project enters into the complex structure of reality taking from it, in an exemplary way, linguistical, structural and typological tools in order to present a proposal that, far from easy excesses and self-complacency, goes into the complexity of a language in between the endurance of the popular and vernacular matrix of the place and the tension towards the contemporary architectural culture.


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