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To the rescue of the Italian countryside. Design by Dagmara Pasinska

Dobrawa Bies
22 of January '21

{Student}, a graduate of the Technical University of Lodz, took up the topic of contemporary nomadism and coliving using the example of the tiny Italian village of Bussolino. Wanting to stop the invasive weekend tourism, she created a project for a new place to live, work and relax, not only for its permanent residents.

The Italian village of Bussolino is located in the Municipality of Gassino Torinese. It is an area of great historical and cultural significance, characterized by a unique landscape. The village is located near the hills of Turin in the valley of the upper Po River. The village has about 600 inhabitants, although most of them visit only on weekends and holidays.

Tradycyjna włoska
wieś Bussolino

The village of Bussolino has great historical and cultural significance and is a tourist attraction

© Dagmara Pasinskaya

how to prevent depopulation of small towns?

Dagmara Pasinskaya 's goal was to create an urban design concept that takes into account the characteristics of the landscape and culture, as well as the socio-economic context. The revitalization project, bearing in mind the political issues related to the depopulation of small towns and aggressive tourism, takes into account a new program for existing sites - meeting contemporary needs. The author's main idea was to introduce new users to the village, which means enlarging the group of Bussolino residents. Dagmara's project is a master's thesis carried out at the Faculty of Construction, Architecture and Environmental Engineering of the Technical University of Lodz, under the supervision of Dr. Maria Dankowska.

Zabudowa wsi Bussolino

Revitalization project revitalizes italian village

© Dagmara Pasińska

As the author explains:

The concept is based on the increasingly popular idea of going to one place for a longer period of time, as a counter to short trips, which have a very bad effect on the local communities of the places mentioned. The principle is to live with the place - the tourist is not just a user and visitor, but a co-host. This is an attempt to stop invasive weekend tourism, which results in the exploitation of space while weakening the local community. In order to prevent this and other similar processes that occur in small towns with tourist potential, the project assumes new functions so that, the space is not treated as an open-air museum only as a village - a place to live.

Projekt urbanistyczny

The urban design concept takes into account the characteristics of the landscape and culture, as well as the socio-economic context

© Dagmara Pasinskaya

A new form of space use with tourism potential is associated with an additional residential function. The lifestyle of traveling for longer periods of time is becoming more common, thanks to access to the Internet, the popularization of remote work and people seeking alternatives to city life. The architect's goal was to create a place where one can work, relax and stay in a friendly environment surrounded by nature. It is a transfer of the idea of artist residency and cohousing and coliving to the scale of a village. This builds locality, cooperation and sharing of space.

Wieś Bussolino może
być ponownie zaludniona

Italian countryside can be a place for modern nomads

© Dagmara Pasinskaya

work and living space for all

The facilities in Bussolino, which will be included in the revitalization and those newly built, are intended to provide a place for visitors to work and live, as well as common space and public areas for the local community. The idea behind the urban planning concept is to create a space that is formally and programmatically coherent on a macro and micro scale. The new urban identity is clothed in a traditional architectural robe.

plan przebudowy
założenia wsi Wyburzenia i przebudowa

The author proposed to create a multifunctional layout of buildings

© Dagmara Pasinskaya

The architect assumed the revitalization of buildings located in the strict center of the village's urban layout by giving them new functions. The author proposed to create a multifunctional layout of buildings, whose form and plan, refer to the historical fabric. The project also includes the restoration of former functions, such as wine production, which will bring crops back to the nearby hills. In addition, the program has been expanded to include communal areas: kitchens, ateliers, gardens, ramps and living spaces for visitors, artists and craftsmen. The layout of the proposed chambers follows the traditional layout of walls and corridor-like internal communication.

Miejsca wspólne we
wsi Bussolino

The village program will be expanded to include common areas

© Dagmara Pasinskaya

Bussolino, is a typical resort town, where villas and private gardens, limit the use of nature, leaving it in private hands. Therefore, the architect decided to add new public spaces so that they become a place to connect with nature and the outdoors.

ecological crisis and design

Design in the era of the ecological crisis of the 21st century should be directed toward landscape urbanism, which aims to create an egalitarian environment and show the harmonious role of all elements of space - both existing and new. Creating in the context of small urban layouts requires a comprehensive analysis that captures a picture of the problematic nature of the place, which is the initial variable for starting a project. Once the identity is understood and defined, the acquired knowledge can be addressed on multiple levels, distinguishing local, urban and architectural scales to develop the detailing as a consequence, Dagmara Pasinska explains.

The development of small villages and their strategic planning is a very important topic not only for architects and urban planners, but is also reflected in actions taken at the regional and global policy level. Thanks to the small scale of the village of Bussolino, the author was able to carry out design activities simultaneously in three fields, resulting in a unique experience of complementarity.

z Bussolino

A former postcard from Bussolino

Photo: Dagmara Pasinskaya

The differences in the perception of each scale become a pointer to contemporary design thinking, which should act strategically rather than intuitively in the maze of choices. Using the strategy of sustainable development in the process of revaluation, it is possible to ensure the preservation of valuable cultural and natural heritage so as to create urban concepts that take into account the characteristics of landscape and culture in the context of socio-economic development, the architect adds.


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