As an award-winning design by an invited international multidisciplinary team – which was led by an Italian architect, Luigi\ud Centola, and an Italian academic, Mariagiovanna Ritano of Salerno University, with Miralles & Tagliabue also involved – this\ud proposal looks into a number of crucial issues in energy conservation and architectural sustainability. The refurbishment of\ud disused industrial buildings in Italy was set as a competition brief, with individual areas then assigned to teams as specific\ud locales for investigation. The parts of this project designed by Urban Future Organization (UFO), which were for a youth hostel\ud and a paper production facility in an old paper mill, respond to the current trend of what is called agri-tourism. They also\ud reinstate the original spaces of the buildings by assigning them with new uses and new relationships to the landscape. Much of\ud the UFO construction would be submerged underground to improve energy performance and to integrate better with the\ud beautiful natural surroundings. The scheme thus blends innovation with contextualism.\ud Here the main research issues involved were how to develop a model of sustainable architecture that could meet the most\ud stringent energy performance standards, and how to find innovative uses for neglected industrial buildings in an otherwise\ud highly developed country such as Italy. As part of the ongoing search for digitally-derived and fluid architectural forms that is\ud being pursued by UFO, this scheme thus adds in another, more ecologically orientated dimension. Not only winning its section\ud of the original competition, the overall project was then also awarded the HOLCIM Foundation’s European Gold Prize for\ud Sustainability and was runner-up internationally in the HOLCIM Foundation’s Global Silver Prize for Sustainability. These prizes\ud represent the highest worldwide standard of thinking in terms of environmentally sensitive architectural design. Martin and Yau\ud were again equally involved in UFO’s contribution
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