A partner and myself have been tasked to design a visitor’s center for the ruins of the Villa De Pollio Felice located along the Bay of Naples in Sorrento, Italy.
This is an image of the site plan, provided by my professor (for confidentiality, I will not list his name).
The above image was found using Google Earth.
Each of my classmates presented work involved in the research and analysis phase of the project. The following is a PowerPoint presentation I presented. (I do not claim the rights to any of the works featured in the presentation. Please see the references and citations.)
After the initial research phase, I analyzed which elements of that phase inspired me and where I could draw some ideas for concepts.
I was very inspired by the solar study of the site, presented by a peer. The crescent shape reminded me of an Italian delicacy called “panzerotti.” Also, such a shape helped to emphasize the panoramic views from the site and to define an exterior courtyard space.
My partner, Shannon, and I met to collaborate. In our meeting, we identified certain features of the site and Italian (specifically regional) culture.
Ruins: The concept of ruins, while seemingly cliche could be represented in a modern and more concept way.
Water: The Bay of Naples surrounds the site and water is a major factor in the develop of Italy and previous civilizations. A water feature through the site and the building could connect the two and provide the different spaces with interesting experiences.
Experience: Both my partner and I felt that architecture that could be experienced beyond visual would be a very interesting concept to develop. Introducing different textures, lighting, sounds, smells, and feelings could provide each visitor with a characteristically memorable experience.
Sun: As I discussed earlier, the sun was the inspiration for a certain building form but it could also be a concept applied to several aspects of the design process.
Vegetation: After exploring significant sites within Sorrento and the surrounding area, we realized that vegetation was an element we had to include throughout the entire design. The idea of perhaps “hiding” our building with vegetation or blending those two elements together was very intriguing.
Mosaics: I was able to study some Italian mosaic art and my partner, already with a love for the look of tiles and mosaics, felt that this could be another potential design concept. The mosaics could inform a floor plan or could be incorporated into specific detail elements or features.
Problems I (and my partner) are having: too detail-oriented (need to think broader on conceptual level), breaking away from the crescent, and connecting the site and building. But we’re getting there. Or, we will get there.
Below are my beginning sketches. Click on an image to see it larger.