Re-Dwelling: A Proposal for Five Dwellings in Maggia, Switzerland

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Virginia Tech


This thesis proposes five new dwellings be constructed within Maggia, a medieval village in Italian-speaking Ticino, Switzerland. The modern scheme placed within Maggia's old town outlines an attempt to revitalize the village's life by providing places for individuals, families, groups of families, and the whole village community. The act acknowledges a process of evolution which integrates old and new to continually generate livable places. Building a new element into the fabric of an old village requires an understanding of the existing place and the forces which contributed to its making. An architect designing within such a context should question the physical characteristics of the built environment and also examine natural and historical factors which may have influenced previous building. The historical, natural, and built environment contributes to forming the spirit, or experience, of the place. By attempting to define and name the elements which have created this spirit, the architect may begin to develop a design uniquely specific to its locale which contributes to the built community. A study of Maggia's existing structure reveals a widening gap between the town's old and new architecture. The proposed design attempts to mediate this separation between medieval and modern design. The project acts as a bridge, both physically and metaphorically, between the central town and newer surrounding development. While the project recognizes the medieval village as the essential monument which guides and informs new design, it simultaneously integrates modern concerns which influence the inhabitants' quality of life.



settlement, amphitheater, CAUS, Alps, urban