Community Center - Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy
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The goal of this semester project was to design a community center as well as a connection between the hilltop and old town with the suburban spr… Read More
The goal of this semester project was to design a community center as well as a connection between the hilltop and old town with the suburban sprawl and the train station. Read Less
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Community Center - Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy
Fall 2010 // Smilja Milovanovic-Bertram, David Heymann - Professors
Partnered Project

The goal of this semester project was to design a community center as well as a connection between the hilltop and old town with the suburban sprawl and the train station.

Aerial Plan Montage.

The Etruscan gate, Cassero tower and Etruscan museum at the top of the hill represent the historic, civic and cultural center of the town. However, the economic and active center of the town has shifted towards the lower valley, where land is more plentiful and the train station is located. The center includes a gallery, lecture hall, cafe, and multi-purpose gathering rooms.

Photorender of Reopened Etruscan Gate.

Understanding the historic, economic, topographical and cultural context of the site was critical to the development of the project. The town of Castiglion Fiorentino, just an hour south of Florence by train, aims to increase tourism and bolster economic activity in the area by promoting the recently discovered Etruscan archeological site unearthed in the Cassero hilltop, as well as hosting annual Palio dei Rioni horse races and many other cultural festivals. Buses, cars, and motorbikes speed around the narrow and winding streets of the town; a safe pedestrian route from the train station to the Cassero was a key factor in designing this project. 

Pastel Parti Drawing

As you walk down the Tuscan hill-town, you are led to wander along walls that follow parallel to the ancient streets. You catch glimpses of courtyards and pockets of what’s to come. The project provides a plentitude of outdoor public spaces for community activities and for vendors to display their wares for the weekly street markets.
Top: Photomontage; bottom: City masterplan and sections

Reopening the buried Etruscan gate was also a major design driver for our project. The Etruscan gate represents a portal to the cultural and historic past, in addition to being a threshold connecting the east and west.
Axonometric sketch.
 
Sketch of Courtyard, Sketch of Pedestrian Bridge
Photorender looking West.
Models.