RICCIONE, 5-16 JULY 2021

"The Atlantic and the Pacific are seas of distance, the Mediterranean a sea of propinquity, the Adriatic a sea of intimacy".
(Predrag Matvejević)

Precisely because the world risks becoming mired ever more deeply in the crisis of values in which it isalready floundering, the only reliable frame of reference left is the physical space of the territory(..). In the territory humanity can continue to find the signsof its past and the symptoms of its future
(Giancarlo De Carlo)

19-24 JULY: EXHIBITION (Palazzo del Turismo, Riccione)

Workshop in collaboration with: 


ONLINE //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

5 July
- Manuel Orazi + Marco Vanucci Intro
6 July
- Stephan Petermann + Jiang Jun
Belt and Roads and the New Normal
7 July - Luka Skansi Fiume Fantastica: A City and its five capitals
8 July - Egidio Ivetic The Adriatic: an historical account
9 July - Romane Bourgeois “Look Where You Set Foot
9 July - Stefano Graziani
Photographers Along the Adriatic Sea
12 July - Emanuele Coccia The Home and the City
14 July
- Lea Catherine SzackaAdriatic Kitsch
15 July - Manuel Orazi + J.Costanzo Aymonino and Rossi in Pesaro 

ON SITE //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

7 July - Stefano Boeri + M.Brambilla Urbania
12 July - Cavazzoni, Rondoni + M.Collini
Niente di antico sotto il Sole
13 July - Polistudio, Baiocco, Renzi
Adriatic Territories
12.07 / 16.07: Workshop
Temporary Autonomous Zones
19.07 / 24.07: Exhibition

Participants are required on-site attendance for the period 12-16 July. 

For nearly a thousand years, the sovereign Republic of Venice established itself as a trading superpower between Europe and the Levant, expanding its maritime dominance into the Adriatic Sea and, from there, connecting the West and the Far East.
Today, more than two-thirds of trade value between the European Union and China goes by sea (via the Suez Canal) and the North Adriatic maritime transport route is the shortest way to reach inland parts of the Old Continent from East Asia. Italy has recently endorsed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a global infrastructure development strategy adopted by the Chinese government to accelerate economic growth across the Asia Pacific area, Africa and Central and Eastern Europe.
The projects under the BRI are mainly related to infrastructure development in the transport, energy, mining, IT and communications sector but also cover industrial parks, Special Economic Zones (SEZ), tourism and urban development. This epochal geo-strategic masterplan puts the spotlight on the role of the Adriatic region – its coastline and its ports- in the massive trade and infrastructural project that aims to link China to Europe.

The Adriatic City
The urbanisation along the north Adriatic Sea, across Veneto Emilia Romagna and Marche, represents a unique, and all too often overlooked, laboratory to study the evolution of the contemporary European city.  
Beside the simplistic dichotomy between the city and the countryside, the contemporary urban condition is characterised by the fragmentation of the urban texture, the coexistence of irreconcilable traits and the diffuse urban sprawl. This situation reflects the uncertain and precarious reality of the contemporary urban and sub-urban condition.
The Adriatic City is characterised, on one hand, by the presence of a diffuse networks of small and medium-sized enterprises, manufacturing factories and industries, that have historically punctuated its territory determining its socio-economic success. At the same time, the early formal and informal settlement along the coast have developed over time determining its leisurely character. The industrious inland and the laid-back coastline are the two faces of the same coin. Between these polarities the Adriatic City unfolds relentlessly across different regions, provinces, counties and municipalities: holiday resorts, city-state, historic city, industrial compounds, logistic infrastructures, amusement parks, urban fringes, agricultural land, density and unrestricted growth, etc. Despite its apparently chaotic prosperity, the Adriatic City has developed out of a rather specific set of socio-economic and historical circumstances that will become the subject of our study.

Think Tank
In 1974, Giancarlo De Carlo, together with a group of colleagues and friends, most of which were members of Team10, founded the International Laboratory for Architecture and Urban Design (ILAUD). The new ‘Laboratory’ was concerned with the transformation of the physical environment promoting research into new methods and techniques of design and fostering cultural exchanges between teachers and students from different countries and universities. The laboratory’s main objective was to lay the foundations for a different approach to architecture, one that would explore issues bound up with the territory, participation, and reuse.
In line with this spirit of independence and cultural anarchism, the AA Visiting School will work as a “think tank” set to study the evolution of the urban costal condition of the Adriatic city: its historic heritage, the formal and informal nature of its conurbation, its present condition and future potentials. The Adriatic City has grown and keep striving under the pressure of social, technological and economic forces. We set to develop the first comprehensive study and, where possible, a urban theory describing this vast territory unfolding along the Adriatic Sea.

Each year, the Visiting School will focus on one specific aspect characterising the Adriatic City. We will study the existing condition, its social and economic structure as well as its planning, urban types and archetypes.
We will look at turism, hospitality and leisure, how it has transformed the Adriatic City over time and how it can evolve and transform in the future. We will look at the industry (manufacturing, services, agriculture, etc), the way it has transformed the countryside and how it can help propel the economy of the Adriatic City into the 21st Century. We will look at housing: how to transform and adaptively reuse the existing building stock as well as planning its growth.

The body of research developed during the Visiting School will converge into the first comprehensive publication on the Adriatic City.

We will carry out a series of seminars that will offer specific insights into the history and culture of the Adriatic City. We will discuss how the cinema has depicted the Adriatic City, from Zurlini’s Adriatic trilogyto Dino Risi’s L’Ombrellone, from Fellini’s Amarcord to Deserto Rosso by Michelangelo Antonioni.
We will look at the architectural heritage: from Francesco di Giorgio Martini to Bramante, from Alberti to Valadier all the way to the post-war modernism (De Carlo, Aymonino, ect).



“Precisely because the world risks becoming mired ever more deeply in the crisis of values in which it is already floundering, the only reliable frame of reference left is the physical space of the territory(..) In the territory humanity can continue to find the signs of its past and the symptoms of its future”
Giancarlo De Carlo
urbanization along the northern Adriatic Sea, across Veneto Emilia Romagna, Marche and Abruzzo represents a unique, and all too often overlooked, laboratory to study the evolution of the contemporary European city. Adriatica will work as a “think tank” studing the evolution of the urban coastal condition of the Adriatic city: its past, its present condition and future potentials. The Adriatic City has grown and keeps striving under the pressure of social, technological, and economic forces. We set to develop the first comprehensive study and an urban theory describing this vast territory unfolding along the Adriatic.

Design Brief

Autonomy: In 1991, the anarchist writer and poet Hakim Bey (Peter Lamborn Wilson) published the book T.A.Z. (Temporary Autonomous Zones) where he describes the socio-political tactic of creating temporary spaces that elude formal structures of control. The book argues for the creation of non-hierarchical system of social relationship where information is key to sneak into the cracks of formal procedures.
In 1967, engineer Giorgio Rosa designed, financed and constructed “(…) a hybrid project of marine engineering and political experimentation”.  Having built a 400-square-metre platform supported by nine pylons off the coast of the province of Rimini in international waters, on May 1st 1968, Rosa declared the independence of the Esperanta Respubliko de la Insulo de la Rozoj (Esperanto Republic of the Isle of Roses) as a self-elected president.  The island soon became a symbol of freedom and escape of the confines of traditional society, a space of radical self-determination and self-expression.

The Adriatic City is constructed through the evolution of urban phenomena characterised by the will to establish  social independence and urban autonomy. From the ‘temples’ of the nightlife to the theme parks, from independent city states (San Marino) to historic walled cities, the urbanisation along the Adriatic is punctuated by places that claim a temporary state of social autonomy, a suspension of democratic conventions and dependencies.  Moreover, during its dominance, the Republic of Venice gave birth to architectural typologies such as Lazzaretti (established to quarantine people returning from the trading travels in the Far East) and Fondachi (outpost warehouses apt at storing goods) both of which can be considered architectural archetypes and precursors of contemporary phenomena such as the global pandemic the international free-trade zones or zona franca.

The Site: The Adriatic Sea is still, by and large, an unchartered territory.
The master class will focus on exploring this vast territory which will be the site of our intervention. We will map and study the existing network of offshore oil platforms established by the Italian petrochemical industry during the 80’s and 90’s which are, today, in the process of being dismantled or repurposed. The 40 x 40 m platforms will be our site.
Students will be asked to developed a ‘temporary autonomous zone’ of their choice, whether an outpost hub for international trade, a maritime terminal for the new Belt and Road Initiative promoted by the Chinese government, a multi-purpose atoll for leisure and escapism or a micro-nation.  We will use the platform as the catalyst to imagine, re-imagine and create a new dimension of the Adriatica city, one where the sea is no longer the backdrop but it becomes the actual site to design new functional infrastructures, supporting and extending the urban quality of the coastal city in open water.

Discrete Assembly:  The automation of cognitive and manufacturing processes are profoundly redefine the way we think and design architecture, the way buildings can be manufactured and assembled, the way we understand the architect’s role and his/her agency.
During the workshop, we will work along the notion of discreet assembly, an emerging understanding of parts or building blocks where discrete building elements are scalable, accessible and versatile as digital data. Capitalising on the digital economy and automation and taking advantage of DfMA processes, we will design for ease of manufacture of the parts and, in turn, we will design the parts for ease of assembly.

The Vitruvian and Albertian paradigm advocated the harmonious relationship between the parts and the whole by means of proportional relationship. In the first digital turn, the differentiation of parts could finally cater for an architecture that is mainly concerned with the expression of the whole (the blob) and where each and every part serves the purpose of expressing the overall composition. With the discrete, architecture is to be reduced to fewer irreducible parts that contains the greatest promise for a complex, open-ended, adaptable architecture. We will design pre-fabricated, pre-assemble and pre-serviced components that will cater for complex assemblies. Moreover, we will seek to design our building blocks as context-aware components in the attempt to create new ecological structures.