YAC (Young Architects Competitions) in cooperation with Craco Ricerche launches Ghost Town Refuge , architecture competition which invites all students, graduated, freelance architects, designers or artists to offer a unique experience to people visiting historical city center Craco (southern Italy).
This architecture competition invites all students, graduated, freelance architects, designers or artists to design a dispersed system of contemporary refuges among the ruins of the ancient Craco.
This system will enable visitors to live a sublime experience: living among ruins and falling asleep under the uncovered vaults of a ghost town.
Perched on stone pinnacles and clay ridges, Craco is the archetype of the ghost town. It is a city burned up by the sun and severe winters. It is an assemblage of houses with unsteady bricks clinging to each other. Their arrangement is so expressive and fascinating that looks artificial. It is a sculpture of houses with torn-off roofs, interrupted vaults and ruined bell towers.
It is a place that does not belong to the present. This space is trapped among the depths of the past. Here, time and abandonment made one of their most indescribable miracles.
Every year, thousands of visitors from all over the world look for such miracle in pursuit of intense emotions. They undertake a journey that is not always easy. They do so by following the irresistible call of the most outstanding ghost town on the planet.
Ghost Town Refuge will require architects to implement the approach of mountain architecture. Designers will have to insert in the wonder of the uninhabited and uninhabitable city a series of simple yet extremely elegant contemporary shelters to interact with ruins and nature. Such elements will provide visitors with sublime experiences that only the most remote places of the world can offer.
In order to respect the architectural and landscape value of Craco there are some design indications that participants will have to take into account:
• new volumes - independent, adjacent or located within the existing elements - will be admitted as long as:
- they do not damage or affect existing architectures;
- they do not exceed 5 meters in height;
- they do not exceed 1,000 sqm altogether;
- they are situated in the area of the competition;
- they guarantee an harmonic design with the surrounding architecture and landscape;
• materials must be consistent with the existing architecture and the surrounding area. They can be compatible or dystonic, traditional or high-tech, as long as the overall design is guaranteed in order to better enhance existing architectures;
• the complex must guarantee the highest level of visitability (within the limit of an arduous place that will inevitably never provide full accessibility). Architects will have to make it accessible to people with reduced mobility too;
• the complex will have to be sustainable from an energy point of view;
• the demolition of existing buildings is not permitted;
• excavation operations or the creation of underground;
Here is the list of the elements that architects will have to include in their design. Integration and reshuffling of these scenarios shall be under total discretion of designers.
• Shelters - they will be facilities to promote a dynamic tourist offer for trekkers and hiking enthusiasts. They will be essential yet stylish units. Moreover, they will be lightweight, open or private volumes with an open or controlled access. They must disappear into the landscape in order to provide adventurers and campers with a refuge. These spaces can be located in the ruins or in open spaces. They will transform Craco into a welcoming complex. Such volumes must be independent and perfectly transportable. Toilets and kitchens are not required (max. 14 sqm each).
• Suites - participants will have to include suites in the area. They can either be perched on the stone or set in ruins. These apartments will have to meet the needs of all the visitors. They must accommodate from 2 to 4 people and offer a luxurious and refined experience. Here, visitors will have the opportunity to look at the desert ravines from elegant living rooms or gaze the vault of heaven by enjoying the vapors of a private swimming pool. They will have to include: toilets, kitchen, 2 bedrooms, wellness area, living room (max 60 sqm each).
• Service center - this will be a public space providing ancillary services as information point, restaurant, library and exhibition space. Such facility will have to complete the experience of the different groups of users. It will be home to toilets/common wellness services for the guests of the shelters and information center/ restaurant for the suites’ guests. It will be the perfect place where to read a book enjoying the view of Lucanian landscapes or tasting its typical local dishes under majestic skies (max 700 sqm).
• Routes and lookouts - as long as the needed isolation of each module is guaranteed, participants can design essential routes, urban furniture and architectures connecting the numerous elements of the archeological park. Consequently, suspended walkways, paths, lookouts to frame the landscape, benches, amphitheaters, recesses and panoramic viewpoints among the ruins can be included in the design proposal (there are no limitations).
• 1 x A1 board (841 x 594mm) in .pdf format, maximum size
- design concept / conceptual idea
- graphic framework aimed to illustrate the project (i.e. plans, facades, cross-sections)
- 3d views
• 1 x A3 album (420mm x 297mm), .pdf format, maximum size 10 mb, horizontal layout, maximum 7 pages long. No cover.
Album must contain:
- general layout on 1:2000 scale;
- significative layouts on 1:250 scale;
- at least one significative cross-section on 1:250 scale;
• 1 cover .jpeg or .png format
Texts should be short and written in English.
The jury panel is noteworthy and among the others, feature David Chipperfield, João Carrilho da Graça, Ian Ritchie, Alberto Veiga, Benedetta Tagliabue (Miralles Tagliabue).
Results will be announced on 30 March 2020.
• Early bird registration: 60 Euro – until 22 December 2019
• Standard registration: 80 Euro – from 23 December 2019 to 19 January 2020
• Late registration: 100 Euro – from 20 January to 16 February, 2020
Who can participate? ⇣
Competitors can be students, graduated, freelance architects, designers or artists. it is not mandatory to be involved in architectural disciplines or enrolled in architectural associations. Joining the competition is possible either individually or with a team.