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Architecture, Urban design




Europan 9, thematic competition of ideas "SUSTAINABLE CITY AND NEW PUBLIC SPACES"


Runner up


Ilias Fragkakis, Cinzia Carbone, Paola Branciaroli


Florence, Italy


The project aims to analyze, elaborate, and transform into opportunities, "objectives" derived from the contest's thematic (SUSTAINABLE CITY AND NEW PUBLIC SPACES), and "problems" concerning the project's urban area (AIR QUALITY, HYDROLOGIC RISK, ELECTROMAGNETIC POLLUTION).


A.SS.I.S.T is the acronym reflecting the concept of a spatial “thickness/section” made out of five interacting layers, able to transform the five project urban areas into “theme urbanity incubators” (housing, ecology, shopping and commerce, sport and wellness, business and spare time).

A-AIR: the layer of the wireless “immaterial” system, helpful to the featuring of specific programs, virtual activities and automation;

SS-SUPERIOR SURFACE: the layer of the open-air activities: park, public space, and temporary structures;

I-INFRASTRUCTURE: infrastructuring layer ( structure foundation, water and wastewater network, electrical network, etc), able to optimally perform in a continuously evolving era.

S-SPACE: covered space, not necessarily in-door, functional to carrying out specific activities;

T-TERRITORY: the inertial layer capable of improving the indoor and outdoor environmental quality of the whole system.

Contest Objectives &
Urban Emergencies

turning problems into opportunities

Existing condition

The area is characterized by a non-homogeneous use of space, with both residential and industrial activities, that has three principal unaddressed and unsolved issues. The area’s hydrologic hazards deriving from the river’s periodical flood events, the carbon dioxide-rich air, and the electromagnetic pollution close to the high voltage AC transmission towers interesting the area.


The study aims to turn these area-specific “emergencies” into architectural & design opportunities by creating smart urban “devices” able to contain the problems and improve the overall quality of the urban space.

The project proposes the construction of three main sport facilities areas which, instead of being set at ground level, are designed a few meters under the ground, creating  naturally formed stands for the spectators. The amount of land dug for the formation and configuration of the sport areas is calculated by considering the total of cubic meters of water statistically flooding the area in case of the river’s overflow. In normal conditions, the stadiums are used for sport activities. In heavy rain and flood conditions, the sport areas become “water tanks”, to contain the water and keep the surrounding area safe. When the river level decreases, the water present at the sports areas (connected to the rivers via pipes) flows back to the river (principle of communicated vessels).

Crops of trees having a high demand for CO2 (used for photosynthesis) are planted in the areas with the highest concentration of CO2. This environmental condition makes them grow rapidly within 2 years. Then, they are cyclically being cut to produce biomass (used as fuel for heating the new residential structures). New trees are planted in their place, contributing to lowering the load of CO2 in the area.

Environmental design

Principles used for the optimization of the environment.

Housing & Commerce

The new residences are designed targeting young users and are equipped with both private and public services, thus reducing the need of traveling and save time. 

The apartments’ layout is designed and orientated in a way as to increase the indoor comfort, prioritizing  “flexibility of use” and “personal privacy”. Around these units are created  condominium terraces, solariums and meeting places, improving the socialization and the outdoor activities (reading, studying, work out etc) .

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