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THE LIVEABLE BRIDGE In the brief, the requirement was to create a bridge that could connect a very busy business district of Rome with its peripheral areas. The problem was that after work and business hours, these marginal areas remain empty of people. To resolve this problem and maintain life and activity in the area, the idea was to create a bridge with attractions during both day and night. It was important not only to create points of interest, but to facilitate different kinds of human interaction and rhythms of passage. To do so I proposed a continuous play with the scale and size of the spaces along the bridge, connecting each via intertwined courseways. While each kind of path facilitates simultaneous activities, it is the crossing of these paths and activities, both visually and physically, that most interested me in this project. The possibility of the unexpected interaction.

PROCESS WORK The process began with research on forms and the history of bridges in Rome. The common denominator among the majority of the bridges analysed in the research was that they were used for transportation of goods, people, information and communication. The conclusion drawn was that this project needed to provide the conditions for a variety of users and functions. It needed to become a hub of activity in which everyone could partake. The form was developed from an observation of the cellular structure of balsa wood. The wood is forrated and inside, numerous canals transport nutrition from the roots to the branches to its leaves, much in the same way the bridge connects the city with its perifery. 1째 floor plan

concept sketches



SCTS - Secondery College Of Technology Sydney

The concept for the SCTS was developed after a research on innovative schools all around the world, such as the Tiimiakatemia.  The idea is to have the students develop independently, a method to put into practice in the professional world. To do this it was important to allow the students room for spontaneous and dynamic interactions, for example across levels or whilst moving through the school via the main ramp. Fewer fixed seating classrooms and a more holistic approach to classroom formation that was inclusive of the space beyond the classroom itself, sought to provide an environment in which students might define their own objectives and accomplish them through collaboration and inspiration. Most importantly, the project aims at facilitating a smooth transition between the secondary college and the professional world. The building’s permeability helps create a constant dialogue with the outside environment. Visually, students are able to see not only each other, engaged in various activities on varying levels internally, but also members of the general public using the open air theatre or students of the nearby university using the thoroughfare passage at the ground level of the school.

split levels to promote eye contact

wide corridors to promote interaction

natural light north

DESIGN An important element in the conception of this project was to create a thoroughfare passage, a direct pedestrian connection between the front entrace of the school and the university behind it. This was first attempted by slicing the building diagonally from Broadway Rd to the UTS. The initial idea is now represented in two main components: The curved ramp that spans the volume lengthways, dividing it and forming a natural corridor of connections between not only the city and the University, but also, visually, each floor of the school itself. The second element that suggests the theme of a cut as a connection, is the metal frame that runs along the exterior of the building, defining the openings and functioning as a sun and rain protection as

Longitudinal section

Orientation scheme Eastern suburbs Business centre Central train station Business centre

Business centre

Victoria park Transverse section


Documentation Given the extent of degradation the building was found in, it was clear that it would continue to decopose from one day to the next. Great importance was therefore given to documenting every detail of the building and its surrounding area in first person, visiting the site to photograph, sketch, and paint.


Another important element for the process of documentation was the reasearch conducted into old documents, plans, books, local folklore and stories. This enabled us to trace the history of the construction, and later when it would come time to implement architectonic solutions, we wouldn’t risk harming the building’s integrity.

Historical development of the church-from an Altar to a Pilgram church

Transformation images of the orthogonal projections to CAD file in order to be further elaborated

Damage analysis A detailed analysis of the damage to the building was conducted on site, documenting and categorising the various typologies of damage and possible causes. Architectonic elements affected by the damage are identified alongside other categories of damage, in order to maintain a contextual overview of the project, and understand the relativity of the damage when attempting to define it.

Problems By mapping the damage to the building on the orthogonal projections of each facade, the roof and interiors, we were able to monitor the extent of the problems to be addressed, each with their specific characteristics, and to begin to appropriately implement solutions.

Restoration proposal To give new functionality to the unused church, the project proposal was to transform it into a memorial for those who died in the plague and were burried in the church. It was important for the building to tell its own story, therefore architecturally, the history of damage and re-use needed to be visible, and the intervention needed to be delicate. The damaged elements that were repaired and protected weren’t hidden but highlighted, both inside and out, and clearly differentiated any modern interventions.

Solutions After analysing the damages to the building and identifying the causes, various solutions were proposed to prevent further degradation and protect the existing elements. Emphasis was put on adapting the most appropriate solution, in coherence with the objectives for the restoration, delicately preserving the building whilst evidencing its life story.


Process work This project began with an exercise to develop an innovative exterior shell for a building that would be technologically challenging to realise. Only later, were the location and project brief given, and the design work for the polifunctional centre could begin. The project brief included the construction of an auditorium, library and private/public offices, alongside spaces such as restaurants, and an open plan exhibition/performance space. To minimise visual intervention and take advantage of the existing site and its natural characteristics, it was decided to use the earth of the surrounding hill and to insert the new construction inside it. Use of the surrounding earth also improved the quality of the building, helping to provide efficient insulation and isolation for light sensitive spaces such as the auditorium.

Plan of the main hall (ground floor)


During the initial exercise, in which an exterior shell for a building needed to be developed before the site or project brief had been revealed, the design for the shell and its structure was conceived by observing the texture of wood.

Detail of the openings in the shell structure

The idea behind this was to create a structure that would be organic and unique, yet at the same time adaptable, able to be used in all nature of sites or projects, much like wood itself.

Detail of the roof

Longitudinal section

Detail of the attachment to the ground

URBAN PLANNING-riqualification of the perifery-suburb V, Rome, Italy


Front facade


With the stage of realisation in mind, special attentition is given to constructive and technological details. It became higly important to specify in the designs, a minimum three types of indications: numerical, verbal and graphic, in order to clarify to all possible participants in the project, each element of the construction, preventing misunderstandings and communicating the designer’s intentions.

Transverse section

Foundations plan

From left to right: calcolation for the dimentioning of the foundation and the plints, calcolation of the thermal inertia of the wall and a description of the slab composition.

Structural plan


In a second phase study of technology and engineering, particular attention was given to the engineering perspective of architectural design.


The structural calculations and analysis for all the elements of the building and its materials were made and implemented in the design stage. The architectural and engineering processes were developed side by side in order to ensure that the structure scheme will comply with the architectural demands and not the other way around.

Beam bending moment diagram

Beam shear forces diagram


Alexander Bitterman Architecture Portfolio