WT 2018/19 | PalermoCopyright: © Thomas Klinkhammer/Samila Sydiq
Palermo: Urban Impulses
Master's Thesis by Thomas Klinkhammer and Samila Sydiq
Known for its cultural treasures and unique history, notorious for poverty, Mafia structures and corruption, Palermo seemed for a long time to have lost all hope. The fight against these conditions began in the 1980s. Since then, things have changed under the current mayor Orlando; traffic-calmed areas and renovated main axes are only some visible results of his struggle against these conditions.
On the basis of a wide-ranging and in-depth analysis, the urban design includes intervention spaces distributed throughout the old town. These spaces form a coherent circuit that, far from the main axes, connects the less culturally developed areas within the districts. Thematic structures and designs lend the individual sections their unique identities.
The Foro Italico is one of the design's focuses. This part of the city, built up after the Second World War, is separated from the mainland by a canal and divided into a series of islands with their own characteristics. The northernmost of these islands is home to a strictly geometric market, which takes up the Palermo principles of the Arab and Italian markets and supplements them with urgently needed hall structures. The architecture is particularly structured by Persian-inspired wind towers, which provide natural cooling and ventilation. Another design focus can be found in the abandoned Vucciria. In the artistic-musical section of the path, there is space for a new singing boarding school, which, with its strong external impact, becomes a new attraction of the quarter.
Plans and Perspectives