Ghost Town Refuge

Completed: Competition
Size: n/a
Location: Craco, Italy

‘The city does not consist of this, but of relationships between the measurements of its space, and the events of its past;’
-Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino

The evolving nature and quality of a city can be molded by its location, materials, cultural reference, and existence in time, but its essence remains the same. A city is inanimate and animate; it is the fabrication of materials in space activated by the energy of life.

But what is it, then, to inhabit something that is dead? How does the ghost town remain, while also welcoming new life? Inhabiting a ghost town requires us to tread softly, to appreciate its history, and to know that we will be enfolded into it. Guests will become ghosts, leaving their mark, weaving their stories amongst the rubble.

The re-habitation of a ghost town requires the merging of past and present. By shrouding the city in impermanent materials, we hope to both give new life and honor what is dead.

1. Existing Material: rubble / stones from site for gabion

2. Impermanent Material: Fabric

3. Structure of metal gabion and posts.

1. Existing Material: clay earth / aggregate for rammed earth walls.

2. Impermanent Material: cardboard walls that are movable so people have to build / change themselves.

3. Structure of I-beams and metal platform and room

Service Center:
1. Existing Material: Actual ruins

2. Impermanent Material: light, and it’s manipulation.

3. Structure: I beams and glass.

Routes and Lookouts
1. Existing Material: existing paths

2. Impermanent Material: sculptural steel to guide visitors, frame landscape, outline buildings.

3. Structure: steel square stock