Ilona (2005)
Europan 8 - Riga, LV

with Sandro Bisà, Marco Ferrari, Matteo Ghidoni, Fabio Gigone, Michele Marchetti, Giuseppe Passuello, Luca Racchini, Luca Zammarchi


ILONA raises three questions about density:
How Density can co-habit with natural landscapes?
How Density can be achieved in different phases of construction?
How Density can over overcome homogenization?

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The start up plantation traces thin lines on the ground. Local species of plants are spread to characterize the lakeside while the whole area is divided into parallel strips thanks to rows of trees.

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After nature reconfigurized the flat soil of the area, the investors and the municipality will decide where and how to begin its colonization. The functional categories of the program will be displaced on the strips so marked: low-rise mansions, semi-detatched houses, private houses, public areas and traffic.
The arrangement of the strips is arbitrary: notwithstanding the strips planning grants the possibility to accurately organize - according to the needs - a proper development program.

The strip of the semi-detatched houses guarantees an elevated standard of change: the plots are put in a way to vary their width and lenght continuously, but not their surface. Every house is planned around three main devices: the fireplace, the sauna and the patio.
The private houses have their power in the maximum plots formal variation. In order to warrant the maximum freedom, we only planned a private house prototype sure that every owner will design his house of dreams by himself.
Located in the more external strips, the low-rise mansions blocks are mainly two kinds: the first one is made by isolating blocks deep in the green. The second one is characterized by a huge inner courtyard which is in the first floor: under the slab there are parkings.
In the central strip both the leisure and sport facilities are located: there can be found tennis and basketball grounds, places to rest and think or decide to have a walk towards the dock on the lake.

Strips are held together by an egg-shaped ring which re-defines the island’s concept; no more a separate object, but a new urban centrality linked by an efficient traffic system to the city core.
The high density of the imposed functional program that seemed to sacrifice any architectural peculiarity to a planned vagueness is transformed into the manifesto of suburban differentiation.