Ideas Competition for the upgrading of the Rozzol Melara quarter of Trieste

International ideas competition of urban design, open to professionals eligible for the practice of Architect or Engineer under 40 years of age. 

Application deadline: 12.00 am, 31 July 2002. 
Submission deadline: 12.00 am, 18 October 2002.

1. Organisers, procedure committee and competition secretariat

Ater-Public Housing Agency of the Trieste Province, Faculty of Architecture-University of Trieste, Municipality of Trieste, Province of Trieste, Roll of Architects, Planners, Landscape designers and Conservation specialists of the Trieste Province, Ministry of Cultural Properties and Activities-General Directorate for Contemporary Architecture and Art.

Competition secretariat
The Secretariat for the competition is: 
Ater-Unità Operativa Relazioni Esterne
Piazza Foraggi n. 6
Fax 040390885
Hours: 10.00 a.m.-13.00 p.m.

The competition brief is posted on the web site

2. Type of competition
It is an open, anonymous, one stage international ideas competition. 

3. Object and purpose of the competition
The Ater-Public Housing Agency of the Trieste Province, on the occasion of the centenary of its founding, announces, together with the Faculty of Architecture of Trieste, the Municipality of Trieste, the Province of Trieste, the Roll of Architects, Planners, Landscape designers and Conservation specialists of the Trieste Province, the General Directorate for Contemporary Architecture and Art of the Ministry of Cultural Properties and Activities, an international ideas competition for the upgrading of the Borgo San Sergio and Rozzol Melara quarters of Trieste. This Brief regards only the Rozzol Melara area.

The Ater of Trieste was founded on 14 July 1902 as a Municipal Institute for Affordable Housing (Icam) and in 1924 it became the Autonomous Public Housing Institute (Iacp). The Ater of Trieste is one of the first public bodies in charge of operating low cost housing in Europe. It was taken as an example in the drafting of the Italian legislation on public housing approved in 1903 and as a model for the foundation of the first institutes established in Italy. Throughout the 20th century, the Icam-Iacp-Ater built about one fourth of the homes of Trieste, and became the most important operator in the field of housing, contributing substantially to the construction of the city and to the definition of its urban and architectural image.

The Ater of Trieste, together with the other important city and national institutions promoting the competition, wants to take the opportunity of its centenary not only to look back to its history, but also to reflect upon the role the institute has played in the growth of the city and in the improvement of its spaces, as well as to look to the future development of Trieste and its province, and, more broadly to deal with outskirts upgrading themes.

This competition aims at redesigning the Rozzol Melara quarter - along with Borgo San Sergio, object of the second brief - in order to start a more general reflection on the conditions of those parts of city promoted by different public administrations during the 20th century with the aim of meeting considerable housing needs. These housing complexes are the result of a unitary scheme involving spaces and facilities as well. But during the implementation stage, or afterwards, these complexes had already partially lost their character of being exemplar and recognisable. As expressions of different ideas of cities and living space, these quarters are significant evidence of different policies, cultures and techniques, which proposals should not only seek to upgrade but also to protect and conserve. In particular, this competition aims to reappraise the meaning, the shape and the function of collective and relational spaces within the quarter unit, since we are convinced that these elements can play a fundamental role in new development processes. During the design phase, these spaces and their function were to form and represent new communities of citizens. However, the separation between the construction phase of the buildings and the implementation of the open space scheme, as well as the different levels of care and maintenance of the un-built area, has often led to negative effects on the quality of the entire "living space", both built and open.

Competitors are asked to submit a project proposal for Rozzol Melara, which aims at improving the living space of the quarter and, on the whole, at redefining its role within the surrounding urban context. The Ater and the Municipality of Trieste could draw from the proposals submitted in this competition for future interventions regarding the aforementioned project site. 

4. Areas and themes of the project

4.1. The location of the quarter
The housing complex of Rozzol Melara is located on the eastern edge of the city of Trieste, on a ridge exposed to the north winds but in an ideal geographic position: the building lies on the slope of the hill at the top of the Rozzol valley which overlooks the city and the sea; the Karst ridge, scarred by some quarries, rises behind the quarter and is separated from it by the Longera valley. The selection of this location since the design phase, which was carried out from the late 60s to the early 70s, reflected an intention of detachment and otherness. This was partially modified by the following new construction of public housing, along the northern and western borders of the complex, as well as of scattered small housing units on the slope of the Rozzol valley. 

4.2. Notes on the original project and on the construction of the quarter The site of Rozzol Melara was chosen by the Municipality of Trieste in 1964 with a plan ex lege 167/62, which envisaged in the Peep (Public and Economic Housing Plan) area the construction of a semi-intensive housing quarter, where several building types (from the row to the tower) had to be organised following the slope of the ground according to an "organic" design. The allotment of the area to the Iacp of Trieste four years later marks a reversal of the trend. The designers called to draw up the new urban plan of the quarter were asked by the Institute to "gather the buildings". The design team, co-ordinated by Carlo Celli, comprised 29 professionals selected with the collaboration of the local Rolls of architects and engineers; Guido Ferrara participated for the design of the green spaces. The initial phases of the project proceed along the lines of the research carried out by the Social Studies Centre of the Iacp and by the International Sociology Institute of Gorizia. These studies were aimed at identifying the housing needs of Trieste with special reference to the organisation of social and community services.

The project was drafted between 1968 and 1971, with following variants during the years until 1974 and finally implemented in 1981. It encompasses an area of 11 hectares where a building complex accommodating 2500 residents stands (minimum threshold identified by the sociologic analysis). It comprised 648 flats, a civic and social centre, a health centre, more than twenty shops, an elementary and a middle school, a parish centre and a common garage.

The shape of the residential complex is that of a large courtyard building consisting of two juxtaposed multi-storey L-shaped units which are connected by a system of covered pathways and collective services forming a large cross in the central courtyard.

The main aim of the designers was to counter a typical suburban situation, consisting of "relatively new buildings, scattered throughout the area without an organised skeleton", with a structure "conceived as a landmark for its quality and concentration of facilities for the organisation of the associated life" but also as a "connective tissue of the surrounding homes, which enables the organisation of the territory ... giving each [urban] element a function within the wide city scene" (C. Celli, "Pubblico e privato nell'insediamento di Rozzol Melara", Casabella, n.437, 1978). The inspiring principles of the urban and housing project can be summarised as follows: 
- the choice of high density housing, assumed as both a typical urban feature and an element able to foster social exchanges; the rejection of the model of a single, finished self-sufficient building, which is countered with a building thought as part of the urban fabric, as generative element of "complex relations which establish a dialogue with a wider surrounding" (ibid.); in search of integration with the surroundings, the quarter should have played the role of polarising and upgrading element of the urban periphery;
- the organisation of the residential complex not as an aggregate of dwelling cells, but rather as "a multiple function spatial organisation", where homes and facilities should have integrated, acquiring meaning and value within their mutual relation;
- the research of a unitary image through the design of the central space: a large court-square which had to be both a symbolic space of the settled community and a "place where the relation between the urban surrounding and the new settlement occurs" (ibid., p. 37);
- the separation of pedestrian and vehicular traffic with the creation of a single road axis across the courtyard serving the two-storey underground garage;
- the construction of a close relationship between public and private areas, through a network of public and collective spaces connecting and integrating the system of private living space.

The large courtyard building is strongly characterized by the system of open and covered spaces for collective use, which defines an ordering "grid" arranged on two levels: "at the lower floor it consists of a pedestrian indoor level walkway which links the most important facilities", while at the upper floor it consists of a similar walkway connected by two bridges to the outdoor promenade on the roof of the lower building; shops for day to day provisions, common loggias and the staircase lobbies open onto the internal roads.

Purposefully some of these collective spaces were not planned to accommodate facilities, but were imagined to be available for any collective activity autonomously run by the residents.

The open space design of Rozzol Melara also drew inspiration from the quest for a different way of living and it also aims at consolidating relationships within the community.

By identifying categories of users of the "quarter's green areas", the project analysed their different needs, proposing the construction of leisure facilities to enable the integration of spaces dedicated to different age ranges: "a series of facilities open to anybody who dwells and 'lives' in the quarter without distinction, so that children, parents, teachers and elders can find a reference in them, so that they can become the tools of an associative life of a higher social and cultural level" (G. Ferrara, "La progettazione del verde", Edilizia popolare, n. 123, 1975). The project paid special attention to the following themes:
- the design of a green "connective tissue" and of a network of routes which articulate open structures and spaces for different uses;
- the creation of an open space, marked by a "theatre" platform placed in close relation with the social centre located in the intersection of the services. It had to be the place where the "social moments" of the quarter would concentrate;
- the definition of different playgrounds according to the age of the users ("play yards", "wild areas", etc.);
- the involvement of the dwellers in the creation of their living environment.

The current problems of the quarter are due partly to the management of the complex after its construction, partly to the lack of urban planning control of the zone where the building stands. On one hand, we have witnessed an impoverishment of the potentials of the common places system with the abandonment of many spaces which were to accommodate different services and facilities. These instead have often found a different location just outside the residential courtyard. On the other hand, the ever more numerous buildings built afterwards around the complex by co-operatives and other bodies have thwarted some of the potential relationships which the original project had conceived. 

4.3. The competition area and the suggested project themes
The competition area encompasses the entire Rozzol Melara district, vie Marchesetti and Forlanini mark the limit to the east and to the west. The boundaries shown in the attached planimetry are to be considered as an indication and can be better defined and in case modified during the design process.
The project will have to satisfy the following requirements: 
- the upgrading of the large central space of the courtyard-square, if necessary even with demolition and/or reconstruction, aimed to restore its original function of meeting and relational place between the community living in the quarter and the people living in the area gravitating towards it;
- the redefinition of the relation between residence, basic service system and collective spaces which the original project located along the roads within the two L-shaped buildings. These latter are today scarcely utilised and are often abandoned;
- the redesign of marginal areas of the complex, in particular of those facing towards the city of Trieste, where there are some of the services "expelled" from the central building and onto which the new residential buildings developed since the 80s face. These currently appear unable to establish a relation with the large building.
Other possible project themes could concern:
- alternative solutions to the current vehicular access system, consisting of the only diagonal road crossing the quadrilateral and of the two-storey semi-underground car park;
- proposals taking into consideration the design of the ground not only inside the central courtyard but also outside it.

5. Participation terms and conditions

5.1. The competition is open to individual architects and/or engineers, as well as grouped in working teams. At the time of the publication of the competition brief the architect and/or engineer, according to the competition rules, must hold a professional qualification of architect or engineer as defined by the legal requirements in existence in their country. If in the country of residence the professional qualification is not defined by law, the competitors must hold a diploma, examination certificate or other qualifying certificate listed in the EU Directive 85/384/EEC or 89/48/EEC.
In any case the participants, at the time of the publication of the competition brief, must be eligible to practise their profession in their respective country, and not restricted in the their self-employed profession by any legislative limitation or disciplinary measure.

5.2. The following may participate in the competition:
- individual persons who comply with all the conditions set out in paragraph 5.1.;
- juridical persons, provided that the party or association is able to comply with the task of the competition. In the case of juridical persons, at least one of the members must hold the qualifications required to individual persons for the participation in the competition and this information must be reported in the authorship declaration. This person will be the sole interlocutor with the competition organisers;
- temporary associations of professionals, with the indication of the architect or engineer who is the person in charge of the design project and representative of the group (team leader).

5.3. Competitors may participate individually, in associations or temporary groupings. Each group when entering the competition is to designate a member as the team representative and sole interlocutor with the organisers.

5.4. Each participant can submit only one project. Each party may not participate contemporarily in more than one group on pain of disqualification of the party as well as all the groups participating with him. Every juridical person and every association of professionals will each be considered a participant in the competition. For this reason, even associations may not participate in the competition with more than one project. Any infringement will lead to the disqualification of the projects submitted by the offending party.

5.5. The participants in the competition may employ one or more collaborators, qualified personnel, who need not comply with the participation requirements. These figures are to be indicated in the authorship declaration although their participation will not influence the jury's assessment.

5.6. Every participant is to carefully check the necessary requirements for participation. Participation takes place on one's own responsibility.

5.7. All the parties participating in the competition (except for collaborators) must be under 40 years old at the date of the publication of this brief.

5.8. The presentation of the projects is to be made anonymously. Any form of identification or distinguishing mark which might reveal the name of the competitors is to be omitted. Should the Postal service require the indication of the sender, the display shall be that of one of the competition organisers.

6. Application procedure
In order to participate in the competition, applications must reach the Secretariat address no later than 12.00 a.m. on 31 July 2002 by mail or fax. The applications must be drawn up on the form downloadable from the web site www.units.it/architet/ater/.
Upon entering the competition the name, surname, date of birth, address, telephone, e-mail and fax of the candidate or group leader, who is to be the reference for any communication, must be indicated and undersigned by every member of the team.

7. Criteria of ineligibility

7.1. The competitors who do not respect the terms of the application and/or the delivery of projects, or who infringe the principle of anonymity of submissions will be disqualified. 

7.2. The following may not participate in the competition:
- spouses, relatives and in-laws up to the third degree of the jury members;
- employees of the competition organisers or those who hold a co-ordinated and continuous collaboration with the members of the jury;
- those who have taken part in drawing up the brief and the attached documents as well as those who are continuous collaborators of the organising bodies and institutions.

8. Competition documentation
The organisers will provide the participants with the following materials: 
- the competition brief and its attachments;
- iconographic documentation;
- outline of the competition area;
- cartography and application form.
All the materials are available on the web site www.units.it/architet/ater/.

9. Submission details
Design projects are to be submitted on 3 A1 horizontal tables and in a bound album size A3, composed of a maximum of 12 pages plus the cover. Both the tables and the album cover shall bear in the top right corner a motto with a maximum of 40 characters including spaces, 1 cm high, and on the tables the Arabic number corresponding to their presentation order. Under no circumstances may the competitors infringe the anonymity with symbols, marks or other identifying elements.
Texts may be written in Italian or English. The projects required shall use the decimal metric system as the system of measurement and contain a metric graphic reference in order to enable publication in reduced formats. The 3 tables, black-and-white or colour, mounted on light rigid panels shall contain, in the scale deemed most appropriate:
- a general plan of the area with the inclusion of the project;
- plans, elevations and meaningful sections of the project;
- axonometric drawings, perspectives, photomontages and any other graphic representation suitable for the purpose of illustrating the project.
The black-and white or coloured album shall contain:
- a report of 8000 characters including spaces maximum, in case illustrated with pictures, sketches and graphic diagrams, containing the guiding criteria for the project and its urban integration in the context;
- a reduced scale reproduction of the 3 tables of the project.

10. Submission delivery
The projects must be delivered in a sealed envelope, bearing the title of the competition on the outside. The envelope shall contain:
- the 3 tables and the album;
- a CD-Rom labelled with the chosen motto containing three .tiff extension files representing the tables submitted, one .rtf file with the report and a 2000 characters (including spaces) maximum abstract of the report;
- an anonymous opaque sealed envelope containing the particulars of the competitor or of the members of the group. The envelope must also contain: the designation of the group leader undersigned by all the group members and their names, including those of possible consultants and/or collaborators; a declaration of each competitor attesting compliance with the necessary participation requirements (the Competition Secretariat will verify the contents of the self-declaration and disqualify from the competition in case it proves to be even partly untrue); the authorisation to exhibit and possibly publish the design projects and to cite the names of the designers, non-winners as well. On each sheet the motto chosen by each competitor or team will have to be indicated.
The projects must reach the Competition Secretariat by 12.00 am on 18 October 2002. In those cases in which delivery of projects is assigned to a carrier (state postal service or authorised couriers), they must be postmarked no later than 12.00 am on 18 October 2002 (the postmark is proof) and the package must be received within the following seven days. Any delay is considered reason for exclusion. The competition organisers are not responsible to the competitors in case of loss of the package.

11. Schedule
Application deadline: 12.00 am on 31 July 2002.
Submission deadline: 12.00 am on 18 October 2002.
Competition results will be announced by 30 November 2002.
The awarding of prizes will coincide with the opening of the exhibition 1902-2002 Icam-Iacp-Ater: a century of public housing in Trieste.

12. Jury
The jury is composed of: Manuel de Las Casas, Bernardo Secchi, the President of the Ater, the Dean of the Faculty of Architecture of Trieste, Paola Di Biagi coordinator of the initiatives for the Ater centenary and professor at the Faculty of Architecture of Trieste, the Major of Trieste, the Land Planning Councillor of the Municipality of Trieste, the President of the Trieste Province, the President of the Roll of Architects, Planners, Landscape designers and Conservation specialists of the Trieste Province, the General Director for Contemporary Architecture and Art of the Ministry of Cultural Properties and Activities. Each representative of the organising bodies can possibly appoint a deputy.
The two Secretaries for the competition will take part in the meeting of the jury without right of vote. The jury will judge the entries within 40 days from the submission date. 

13. Jury proceedings and competition results
The jury's proceedings will be secret, and considered effective with the presence of at least half plus one of its members. The president will be appointed by the jury members during the first meeting. The jury deliberation is unappealable. A draft of the minutes containing the jury's proceedings and the judgement on the projects will be drawn up during the meeting and signed by the jury members at the end of the proceedings. 
Results will be sent by registered post to the winners. The names of the winners and the jury's report will be posted on the web site www.units.it/architet/ater/.

14. Prizes and honourable mentions
The competition overall prize money amount totals 9,000 Euro, divided as follows:
First prize: 4.000 Euro
Second prize: 2.500 Euro
Third prize: 1.500 Euro
2 mentions: 500 Euro each
The jury can modify the number and the division of the prizes if by general consent it considers that the quality of the projects does not comply with the fixed division of the prize money. The jury reserves the right to mention, without reward, design solutions showing innovative aspects.

15. Publication of competition results
The prize-winning entries and honourable mentions will be displayed in the exhibition 1902-2002 Icam-Iacp-Ater: a century of public housing in Trieste. The Ater reserves the right to publish the project proposals in the modality deemed most appropriate (catalogue of events, national and international magazines, web sites). Moreover, the Ministry of Cultural Properties and Activities will decide whether to publish winning entries and honourable mentions on its web site.

16. Ownership of the design projects
Authors hold rights of intellectual ownership of their projects. The winning entries or honourable mentions will become the property of the Ater of Trieste. The remaining entries will be available to the competitors who may collect them at their own expense, from the Competition Secretariat, on furnishing proof of identity, after 3 March 2003 and no later than 30 April 2003.

After this date the Ater will no longer be held responsible for the conservation of the submitted materials.

in collaborazione con


International Competitions Network
Partner italiano

iscriviti gratuitamente al bollettino ARCH'IT news

per segnalare nuovi concorsi o per
qualsiasi comunicazione
scrivete redazione@architettura.it

in rete

archit.gif (990 byte)

© Copyright DADA architetti associati
Contents provided by iMage