Casal di principe -Caserta-
Men, women, sharing, participation, desire for redemption, skills, persistence; these were the elements that have fueled, in a very few months, the extraordinary event happened in Casal di Principe (located near Naples, Campania); where beauty, art, and culture have won and "shed light" on Camorra's shadows. Through a virtuous process of relations, the State (represented by the Uffizi Gallery of Florence), finally gave witness of its presence (in a territory that for decades has been battered and raped in its natural beauty) sending in Casal di Principe some extraordinary artworks of the 600' made by artists influenced by Caravaggio, who have lived in Naples. It is from here that architecture has played a crucial role. There was, in fact, the need for a museum space, a suitable place to put up the artworks and all those who wanted to see them. This place was identified in a confiscated villa, which belonged to Camorra and then was delivered to the community. In this territory, where there is a lack or total absence of public space, the propert confiscated to camorra are a real opportunity to create points of aggregation which can satisfy the desperate search of collectivity from citizens that find it as something utopian in their homeland. The villa was in a state of total decay and neglect. The villa, in its architectural shape, reflects exactly the false values of a place that has lost, over time, its close connection with the "ground work". In fact, the false friezes, the fake columns of polystyrene, the fake architectural styles, the lavish marble coverings and the taste for excess enhance an elusive idea of "aesthetic" that has never belonged to architecture or to civilization. The project idea was to cover the entire villa with a new structure, a second skin which is detached from the building, maintaining a metaphorical distance from what was there before; however, at the same time, the not total opacity (of the added structure) shows what is behind; the old structure is detached, distant but is still present. Simple tubes and a red net (used on construction sites) enfold the entire building which symbolically represents a "work in progress", emphasizing the work that remains to be done in these lands, thus giving justice to the honest citizens. The project also has a future goal: the entire structure will be covered with panels of fiber hemp; a tilling ,that for years, in the past, has marked the rhythm of rural life in these territories. Panels that will be built handmade by associations, organizations and schools that will participate in a tangible way to the final realization of this cultural space. Moreover, the total lack of budget has led the company, the workers and sponsors to work together for the rebirth and for legality, hoping for a change that is much more powerful than material gain.