Since the old days, the great forces of Nature have been the only processes able to create and modify the shape of Earth.
Nowadays something has changed. Mankind’s activities have turned gradually into new forces able to create irreversible effects on the planet. The manufacturing sector, while trying to dull the current need of materials, is constantly reshaping it. As a new morphological force that creates new striking landscapes which require to be evolved and recognized into a different identity: the Manufactured Landscape.
The thesis’ project arise with the purpose to suggest an alternative solution, giving importance, to the irreversible quarry morphology of Fantiscritti marble mining district within the Apuan Alps in Carrara.
Fantiscritti marble mining district is located within the Apuan Alps, mountains well known to be depicted as the place of the innate excess, due to the sublime relationships within the old nature and the younger signs of human activities, and surrounded by the unique environment of the Tuscan seaside on west, and the Garfagnana Valley with the Northern Apennines on east. They have seen their birth during the Romans, they have gained global fame during the Renaissance, Neoclassicism and Modernism, and the contemporary sculptures and architectures still give to this “cubist nature” inestimable value. Besides the Arts, there is also the historical cultural value linked to the quarry cultivation, closely related to the excavation technologies’ evolutions.
However, the Carrara marble quarries have not been recognized yet as any landscape’s form, but only as a criticality which burdens on the pristine nature.
But are they just that?
Thanks to extended context researches, analysis and local visits, the thesis’ project arise with the purpose to give importance to the irreversible quarry morphology. To make it possible, the project aims to make more accessible the Fantiscritti marble mining district by the visitors, in order to evolve its identity into Manufactured Landscape.
Hence, the project is composed by a route and four areas which will give to the visitors the opportunity to get in a close contact with all the different quarries’
typologies, to look to the striking ongoing process of their cultivation and to be free to move in a suggestive inactive quarry. In order to deal also with the theme of sustainability, all the new architectural proposal are made by clear concrete composed by the reuse of the quarry marble waste, directly taken from the adjoining quarries. In relation to this solid material, different games of golden copper parapets plays with the landscape in order to direct the visitors within the marble district or to some viewpoint.
The project areas have been designed in the following order to help the visitors knowing and admiring the Manufactured Landscape:
First, the Vara Gate, the reuse of the old train access to the marble district, then the Fantiscritti Visitor Hub, where the people can get informations and start three different marble tour, a Hiking Route which connects the previous areas, and finally two Inactive Quarry. One has been upgraded in order to let the visitors walk freely in the old quarry, giving also the possibility to have a quick swim within an old marble hole fulfilled by ground water, while the other one has been suggested as a future possible project development.