Viewed at one time, in one place:
La Via del Graveglia
Eleonora Valle, Francesca Venini
Eleonora Valle was born in Milan in 1994. She studied in Lisbon and graduated in Architecture at the Politecnico di Milano with a master thesis with Cino Zucchi focused on the fragility of a specific area in the Ligurian hinterland seen as a potential for future development; at the same university she has carried out some teaching collaborations. She has worked and collaborated with some architectural firms in Portugal (aspa arquitectos), Italy (B22 - ifdesign - Studio3Architetti) and London (Morris+Company) and she is currently working at Carmody Groarke, Uk. She won the YAC contest in 2018 and has participated in the ZERO issue call of the online magazine Assembramenti.
Francesca Venini was born in Chiavari in 1994. She studied in Milan and Paris and graduated in Architecture at Politecnico di Milano with a master thesis with Cino Zucchi focused on the fragility of a specific area in the Ligurian hinterland seen as a potential for future development. In 2020 she starts collaborating in the Cino Zucchi’s Design Studio at Politecnico. She has worked and collaborated with some architectural firms in Paris and Milan (B22, ONE WORKS, Pierre Arnaud Descotes Architecte, ODB & Partners). She has completed an apartment renovation in Chiavari’s historical center and she’s now working on a horse riding center with a park in La Spezia.
Landscape as an individual present and collective memory at the same time, as physicality and abstractionism. Croce describes it as a pause from narration, while Pirandello explains it as a vehicle for history that goes beyond the simple aesthetic value. The landscape brings us back to “peculiar panoramas”, different for each of us; it is a generic concept but also particularly specific, “viewed at on time, in one place”.
The Graveglia’s route is a complex, heterogeneous path, full of landscapes that change in just a few km, far from the simple “romantic” imaginary of a rural context that has once been united. The land properties have been fragmented, the inhabitants have begun to leave, and subsequently to maintain less and less the cultivated terraces. Their abandonment together with climatic changes are the cause of hydraulic and geomorphological problems in the surroundings. The dealt territory has become residual, a leftover derived from the abandonment of an activity (Clément, 2004). It has naturally transformed into a secondary and chaotic landscape. At the same time, its condition as a place of production has ceased, it is no longer possible to exploit it, to maintain it; its speculation has become impossible or too expensive due to difficulties in accessing it or due to the lack of infrastructure to support it. Its character of residual and reserve (typical of the landscape itself) has destined it to a state of indecision. Therefore, what is the right eye to have towards these landscapes? What is their best cure?
The thesis On the potencial of fragility, shows a first approach to the reading of the Italian hinterlands, highlighting stories of an rural landscape increasingly fragile and marginal, but with a significant cultural and natural heritage that calls for attention. The critical and concise reading of a specific area in Liguria, in the Levante, has reinterpreted fragility as a potential for the development of a future scenario through three “site specific” projects. The three “pictures” of a landscape that changes, in terms of altitude and resources, have been summarized in a park with a greenhouse, an oil mill and a observation and weather-monitoring point. The proposed approach takes up the production process of the place with its resources: all interventions have a public character but respond to a need for community’s work. Overcoming a traditional and moralizing vision of the landscape, the protection and maintenance of life, as diversity and complexity of the place, has become the central cornerstone of this research. All these fragments of the landscape, multiple and unsettled, have one point in common: being a refuge for diversity. Everywhere and elsewhere this is rejected.