The reuse of the historic city
through discontinuous nature hiatuses
View of Naples 1582
© Jean van Stinemolen
In the sphere of morphological studies on the historic European city, which especially in Italy has seen relevant contributions both theoretical and operational - from Muratori to Caniggia, from Rossi to Aymonino - the theme of formally completed urban parts and their fixity or their organic evolution has seen different orientations facing each other. The Muratorian-Caniggian idea of urban fabric as a mutable organism, of palimpsest is contrasted by the Rossi-Aymonian idea of the finiteness and architecture of the part, of original layout, of individuality. The notion of specialised buildings in some way derived from basic construction by means of recasting and thickening is contrasted with that of primary elements and urban facts that in fixing certain types direct urban dynamics. In such a theoretical and cognitive context that has represented and still represents a very important cognitive contribution to the understanding of the reasons, developments and characters of the urban form, the recent emergencies linked to climate change, together with those welds that over the centuries have made the parts, their limits and their underlying structure indistinguishable, propose new lines of research directed towards a possible renewed relationship between settlement and natural stratum, between urban parts and the hiatuses of nature. The case study of the historic centre of Naples and the different urban parts that have determined its structure over time is, in this sense, really paradigmatic.
The so-called 'ancient Greco-Roman centre', the gothic 'lower districts' (quartieri bassi), the Viceregal and Renaissance extensions, the extra-moenia 'boroughs', the Enlightenment interventions up to the 19th century make up a complex mosaic that is represented in a ‘jumbled and indistinguishable’ image. Recovering and 'reusing' certain discontinuities of the substratum, bringing back to the surface ancient watercourses and with punctual de-densification, Mauritania could be reintroduced into the living body of the city, not as an embellishment and a mere necessity of well-being against heat islands, but more and more like a morphological and distinctive function to determine the appropriate hiatuses - as precious as the golden filaments in the art of kitsugi - capable of both recomposing the parts and distinguishing them. Such natural corridors could accommodate collective facilities and public spaces where the entire citizenry could be represented.
Renato Capozzi was born in Naples in 1971, where he graduated in Architecture in 1997 with a thesis in Architectural Design – on the east area of Naples (professor supervising of the thesis Alberto Ferlenga ). In 2004 obtained the title of Doctor of Research in Architectural Composition at the IUAV of Venice, in 2005, at the University of Studies of Naples “Federico II”, he attainted the Specialization In Urban and Architectural Design. Since the academic year 2006 he teaches at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Studies of Naples “Federico II” to which he holds the teaching of Theory of contemporary project linked to the degree course in Architecture 5UE.He is currently associate professor of Architecture and Urban and holds the Course of Design Theory and the Laboratory of Architectural and Urban Composition 1 at the CdS single cycle 5UE and the Final Synthesis Laboratory in Architectural Design in CdS MAPA