The narrative descriptions of the projects.
Cascina Cuccagna (2011); Milan, Italy; Associazione Consorzio Cantiere Cuccagna (ACCC): Changing its role from agriculture to a place of culture and meeting, and after years of neglect, this project becomes an oasis to socialize within the urban grid of Milan that seeks to improve the lives of its residents. Exhibitions, culture, culinary activities are activities that are sought to be developed in this Cascina that refuses to disappear, generating a new identity more in keeping with its current reality.
Co-Housing Chiaravalle (2016); Milan, Italy; Cohousing.it: Creating community is the objective of this recovery project for a Cascina from the 8th century. Surrounded by large garden areas and spaces to promote common activities among residents, this project is friendly to the environment using renewable energy. Between history and a modern lifestyle, this set of 50 houses offers the possibility of generating a change in the lives of their owners.
Cascina Roccafranca (2007); Turin, Italy; Turin’s University, ANCI, and Foundation Cascina: This project is based on regulations that promote collaboration between citizens and government institutions and seeks to regenerate numerous abandoned industrial buildings. Located in a city with experience in regeneration and redevelopment such as Turin, it seeks through this intervention to use buildings and vacant lots to fight against the social exclusion of the residents of these neighborhoods, generating social enterprises and centers for community participation, in order to reduce poverty, unemployment and create a space for coexistence. Thanks to various financing programs, to which the city has been credited, it is that projects like this can be carried out.
Hacienda Niop (2014), Campeche, Mexico; R79 + AS ARQUITECTURA: The balance between the history of a hacienda and a new use that offers a resting space for its visitors results in this Boutique Hotel project in an old abandoned hacienda in southern Mexico. The need for new uses to their spaces, in accordance with a new identity and respect for the essence of the original buildings and exterior spaces, guide this project to ensure that they coexist despite their contrasting times and uses.
Hacienda San Pedro Celso Garza Guajardo (1990); Nuevo Leon, Mexico; Autonomous University of Nuevo León: This project recovers a 17th-century hacienda for the creation of a center that exhibits regional history. This center has a library, museum, exhibition rooms that at the same time function as a space for workshops and meetings, as well as an open-air theater. Managed by a public university, this project allows the use of some of its areas for institutional activities, educational or cultural activities for the entire public.
Hacienda San Antonio Chablé (2017); Chocholá, Yucatan, Mexico; Central de Proyectos SCP: Restoring a 19th-century hacienda and turning it into a hotel, the spaces were adapted for their new activities. Some spaces were decided to be intervened, and very interesting spaces were created, mixing the old and the new. The recovery of this space also contemplated the natural landscape, mainly the flows that fed a cenote, which is the heart of the project. In other spaces that had become ruins, they were left intact as a reminder of the relentless passage of time.
Tulou renovation project (2019); Fujian, China; Rural Urban Framework + University of Hong Kong: A collaboration between Rural Urban Framework and University of Hong Kong has given Tulou Zhenchunlou two buildings that provide the community with spaces for coexistence and recreation. Being Zhenchunlou, the first Tolou to appear in the village of Lantian, China, was abandoned for decades until the intervention by Rural Urban Framework. Made of wood, combining ancient and modern techniques, these structures, a tower and a trumpet, which is born in a first-level window and opens until it ends up resting in a patio, forming some bleachers. They have become part of daily life for the inhabitants of the community by developing activities such as study, coexistence, or the presentation of events.
School Bridge (2009); Fujian, China; Li Xiaodong Atelier: More than just satisfying the need to cross a river, this project pushes functionality to the limit by not only giving the community a connection between the two ends of a river, but also a school, a library and a store. It is also an attraction for the elderly and children to spend time on it. Located in the town of Hakka Xiashi, Fujian province in China, this project can become the key to revitalize this town that was facing aging and neglect of its inhabitants. An example of collaboration between designers and users to achieve a multi-functional project in harmony with its surroundings and its history.
Community-led design in China (2018); Fujian, China; AzuKo + Hello Shenzhen: five examples of participatory design projects. Cha’er Hutong Children’s Library and Art Center in Beijing, Xihe Village Cooperative in Henan Province, Angdong Health Center in Hunan Province, and the Hada Village Water Community Center and Taoshu Tulou, both in Fujian province. These projects by Azuko (an architectural charity serving disadvantaged communities) show us a design led by the community for a humanitarian impact and the development of these communities. A design methodology, such as the one used, focused less on the economic and more on the human helps to achieve the objective of a local vision and appropriation of the project, taking into account the strengths of the community and disregarding its problems or differences, to achieve a solid project that meets the expectations of all participants and users.
Te Noho Kotahitanga Marae (2012); Albert campus, New Zealand; Lyonel Grant: This Marae, located at the New Zealand University of Technology, is a spiritual place built in a sustainable way and combines the tradition with a contemporary environmental sensitivity. Its main function is to gather people for ceremonial services and celebrations, and also it is a repository of regional historical knowledge. This project is complemented by a dining room for 200 people. Since the concept, this project has shown the spirituality necessary for the functions it was designed for.
Tanatana Marae (2019); Waimana, New Zealand; Apa Architects: Project designed for a community with the ceremonial function of living in mourning for a deceased relative. This duel lasts three days and all his relatives accompany the body in this building that is complemented by another nearby construction in which the family’s valuable objects are stored. It also has sustainable elements for water reuse, light sensors, thermal materials, and self-sufficient waste disposal. It has all the necessary services to become a space to remember the family member who has left, rest with him, and being with him in his last moments in this life.
Pehiáweri Marae (1980); Glenbervle, Whangarel, New Zealand; Ongoing regional regeneration project: This research project seeks to address the problem of homelessness for Maori people through the collaborative design together with the community, so they are involved in the entire design process. The project contemplates groups of houses of different characteristics with the necessary flexibility to allow community life and, at the same time, maintain the privacy of each family.
Experts’ names and a short description of their background:
Expert #01—Roberto Cárdenas Martinez—Professor at the Universidad Tecnológica de México S.C. Expert in the conservation of the architectural heritage. Professor Cárdenas has also experience in the Italian context having spent a period of research and teaching at the Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II
Expert #02—Enrico Valentino Hernández—Lecturer at the Tecnologico de Monterrey, College of Architecture, Arts and Design. Chair of the 3ME Arquitectura in Guanajuato Mexico. Their expertise comes from the development of projects around traditional 18th-century buildings of Central Mexico. Rehabilitation of historic places and the preservation of cultural landscapes is their main focus.
Expert #03—Gregorio de la Rosa—Lecturer at Tecnologico de Monterrey, College of Architecture, Arts and Design. He is an expert in the historic preservation of 16th-century architecture, particularly religious and recreational buildings. He has over 30 years of experience in preservation projects in Central and Southern Mexico. He is a consultant at Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia at the regional and national levels.
Expert #04—Sara Broglio—PhD, Senior Structural Engineer, and leading specialist in resilient structural systems at Aurecon, Canterbury, New Zealand. Dr. Sara Broglio has experience in both Italy and New Zealand involved in a series of academic activities including research, laboratory classes on structural regeneration of historical buildings. In particular, being a young professional she is active in community engagement and social projects in West Coast, New Zealand.
Expert #05—Angelo Bugatti—Advisory professor at Tongji University, Shanghai, China, and former professor in architecture and urban design in Italy. Professor Angelo Bugatti has over 30 years of experience in research, teaching, and design in Italy, China, and Central America including Mexico. Director of the 15 editions of the International Design Seminar “Urban Culture and Landscape Renewal”, he was the coordinator for Scientific Agreements between the University of Pavia, the Universidad Federal da Bahia, and the Universidad Central Santiago del Chile and the Tongji University of Shanghai.
Expert #06—Aldo Castellano—Professor of history of architecture at the Politecnico di Milano, Italy. He has 40 years of academic activities. He was also: founder and vice president of the Italian Society for Industrial Archeology, (1975–1980); deputy editor of L’Arca magazine, (1986–1991); director of the Architecture section of the Bompiani Dictionary (1987); founder and vice president of RURAL_IA Onlus (1998–2000); member of the Commission for the landscape of the Municipality of Milan (2009–2012). He has carried out, and continues to carry out, studies and research with publications on the problems of conservation and reuse of cultural heritage.
Expert #07—Eugenio Mangi—PhD, Assistant professor at the Department of Architecture and Built Environment, The University of Nottingham, Ningbo China. Dr. Mangi has over 10 years of experience in China, both in academia and in practice, being a researcher and co-founder of the firm Draftarch realizing several projects in China. The participation in the design process of the local communities is the core of his activities for the regeneration and conservation of architecture and heritage buildings.
Expert #08—Minqing Ni—PhD, Lecturer in environmental design at College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University, Shanghai, China. Executive Director/Coordinator of the Tongji DESIS Lab (Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability). She is an active designer and researcher. Her activities focus on the topic “Design intervention based social innovation” exploring possible actions linking the sustainable and ecological lifestyle of communities and understanding of the relationship between the social and the public space.
Expert #09—Dan Zhu—Architect, Executive manager of the @Design Square of Tongji University. Graduated in Architecture in USA at the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. In Shanghai, she is well recognized by the civic society as a leading specialist in sustainable design and organizer of scientific meetings and public meetings for the study and dissemination of sustainable culture in China and America.
Expert #10—Elisabetta Venco—PhD, Researcher/Assistant professor in urban planning and sustainability, Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Pavia, Italy. Dr. Venco is a young researcher with significant researches carried on methodological approaches to improve the development of the Rural-urban context focusing on urban approaches to analyze and enhance cultural heritages’ contexts.
Expert #11—Caterina Pietra—PhD, Candidate in design, modeling, and simulation in engineering at the Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Pavia, Italy. Thanks to her study experience between China and Italy, in 2018 she got a Double Master Degree in Building Engineering and Architecture from Pavia University and Tongji University in Shanghai on the topic of “Heritage Conservation and Urban Regeneration in China”. In 2019 she was a visiting researcher at the College of Design and Innovation of Tongji University. In Italy, she is involved in several citizens’ groups’ activities in rural areas of Lombardy.