[pavia layers] pavia was once protected by strong boundaries – the river and thick walls – that forced the city to develop inwardly as a compact core. during the twentieth century under economic developments, the city expands outward. large number of industrial infrastructures and residential buildings were constructed around its historic core. the layers are traces of history - roman square courtyards and romanesque cathedrals surrounded by residential tower clusters, steel and concrete factories, railways, and the river – traces of the ancient times, the modern past, and the future present.
[idroscalo layers] in between the historic core and outer layer sits the idroscalo. the hangar is a trace of the city’s, or the country’s, evolution from political, economic, cultural, and artistic aspects: it was a witness of industrial and technological advancement; it was a synthesis between the expressive art nouveau movement and the rational modernism; it was once a point of connection between cities as part of the aquatic airports network but now an abandoned building at the edge of city. as time passes, while trace of the ancient urban core adapts conservatively with maintained physical presence, the industrial layer, though its significance remains, decays into a modern past.
[tracing layers] the idroscalo is a running hourglass: its physical entity decays as its commemorative significance accumulates. instead of preserving the building’s original physical layer, the design proposes tracing of the form. space defined by original structure is traced over through offsetting inwardly and, as a result, physicalized as layers of new massing. the new massing is a physical mold of the original space that, as the original structure decays, becomes its commemorative trace.
[layered space] through offsetting, traces of original structures are physicalized and emphasized as the new layered space. modular rhythm of original structure and façade decorations is reinforced as spatial rhythm, experienced within sequential layers of the old and new space defined by reflective walls. originally singled and simple loft for aircraft is transformed into human-scaled sequential rooms and corridors defined by nested layered walls.
[layered program] altogether, original structure and the nested layered walls become the new hub to pavia residents. physicalized layered space draws visitors closer to the modern past sequentially: nested within the layers are new enclosed sauna rooms, semi-opened yoga studios defined by both new walls and old trusses, central event space opening towards the decaying walls and nature beyond, and finally an outdoor swimming pool adjacent to ticino river. at every turn of corner, one recognizes the trace of the historic structure, through an opening, a reflection, or casted shadows.