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LAURIE OLIN / REBECCA POPOWSKY / RANDALL MASON / FREDERICK STEINER

PAST IS PROLOGUE: PIENZA, ITALY

University of Pennsylvania School of Design


Š2017 by the University of Pennsylvania School of Design


LAURIE OLIN / REBECCA POPOWSKY / RANDALL MASON / FREDERICK STEINER

PAST IS PROLOGUE: PIENZA, ITALY

Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning Graduate Program in Historic Preservation University of Pennsylvania School of Design Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Dedicated to the people of Pienza, for the opportunity of an unforgettable encounter, and the chance to envision future prospects for the town.


“The historical sense involves a perception, not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence.” - TS Eliot, Tradition and the Individual Talent, 1919

“Se vogliamo che le cose restino stesse, le cose dovranno cambiare.” - Giuseppe Tommasi di Lampedusa, Il Gattopardo, 1958


Contents

Foreword | Ilene Steingut

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Letter from Pienza | Fabrizio Fè, Giampietro Colombini

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Preface | Frederick Steiner

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Introduction

Urban Landscape as Inheritance | Randall Mason Past Is Prologue (Still) | Laurie Olin The Slowly Made City | Rebecca Popowsky

Conservation and Landscape Exploration Meta-analysis Fieldwork Principles for Response

Historic Preservation

Proposal Introduction | Randall Mason Proposals

Landscape Design

22 26 32

38 52 66

70 74

Proposal Introduction | Laurie Olin Fast-paced Design Studies Proposals

114 120 126

Afterword

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Acknowledgments

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“Tutto il passato in un punto Dinanzi mi sarà comparso.” - Eugenio Montale, Quasi una Fantasia, 1925


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Foreword | Ilene Steingut

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FOREWORD PREFAZIONE


Every new project is an adventure

that challenges us to move out of our comfort zones into uncharted territory. Like explorers in quest of new routes, designers apply their knowledge and experience to explore the new and the unexpected, not by rote but in new and original ways. Design work, especially regarding the historic context and landscape, unfolds over long periods of time, with the unpredictable and the unexpected often becoming important factors in its making. An unplanned encounter (with unexpected conditions, technical problems or people …) can become transformative for a project’s outcome. This is even more true in life. And this is how, in the fall of 2015, casual drinks with Giampietro Colombini, Pienza’s Commissioner of Cultural Affairs, led to the organization of the 2017 Spring Semester PennDesign Pienza Studio. My office had been working in the Val d’Orcia area for over 15 years and we personally had become attached to many places and people there. Giampietro spoke of his ambitious strategy to grow Pienza’s cultural presence in Tuscany by improving the city’s museums and by attracting important cultural institutions to the city for research and teaching activities. My advice to him was to set his sights high (befitting Pienza’s importance for the history of architecture and the Tuscan landscape for the global cultural panorama). I thought about how I might help. And then something clicked. I thought of PennDesign and of Laurie Olin, who, so many years ago, first introduced me to the passion

Ogni nuovo progetto è un’avventura

che ci sfida a lasciare i nostri contesti sicuri per territori ignoti. Come esploratori alla ricerca di nuove rotte, i progettisti applicano loro conoscenza ed esperienza per scoprire il nuovo e l’inaspettato in modi inediti e originali, rifuggendo la ripetizione meccanica. La progettazione, soprattutto per quanto riguarda il contesto storico e il paesaggio, si dispiega in un tempo lungo in cui l’inaspettato e l’imprevisto spesso diventano fattori importanti del suo farsi. Un incontro imprevisto (alcune condizioni inattese, dei problemi tecnici o anche delle persone ...) può modificare l’esito di un progetto. Questo è ancora più vero nella vita. Ed è così che, nell’autunno del 2015, un aperitivo con Giampietro Colombini, Assessore alla Cultura di Pienza, ha portato all’organizzazione nel 2017 dello “Spring Semester PennDesign Pienza Studio”. Il mio studio ha lavorato in Val d’Orcia per oltre 15 anni e, in questo tempo, ci siamo affezionati a tanti luoghi e a tante persone della zona. Giampietro ci ha parlato della sua ambiziosa strategia per far crescere la presenza culturale di Pienza sia attraverso il potenziamento dei musei della città, che cercando di attrarre istituzioni culturali di rilievo nel campo delle ricerca e della formazione. Il mio consiglio è stato di mirare in alto (com’è giusto d’altronde per una città dell’importanza Pienza, sulla scena culturale mondiale, per quanto riguarda la sua storia e il suo paesaggio). Ho iniziato, quindi, a riflettere. Puoi si è accesa una lampadina. Ho pensato a PennDesign e a Laurie

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Foreword | Ilene Steingut

View on the wall of Pienza, photo by Frederick Steiner. 10

and adventure of architectural and landscape design; I especially thought of his work at the nearby estate, La Foce and his book that I treasure. So I took a chance and wrote him. Not only was Laurie (along with Richard Weller) open to the suggestion of somehow collaborating with the town of Pienza, but, at that precise moment in time, he was actively thinking about a topic and a place for a semester abroad program. And then Fritz Steiner, whom I had already had the privilege of meeting and working with many years before, came into the picture as the new Dean. Things started to fall into place. There were two very cold January days in Tuscany with Randall Mason, a new friend. Site visits and discussions

Olin che, tanti anni prima, era stato uno tra i primi ad iniziarmi alla passione e all’avventura della progettazione architettonica e paesaggistica; in particolare ho pensato del suo lavoro a La Foce e al suo libro, che mi è caro. Gli ho scritto. Non solo Laurie (insieme a Richard Weller) si è mostrato aperto al suggerimento di collaborare con la città di Pienza ma, proprio in quel preciso momento, era alla ricerca di un tema e di un luogo per un semestre all’estero. E poi, il caso ha voluto che Fritz Steiner, che avevo già avuto il privilegio di incontrare per lavoro qualche anno prima, fosse diventato il nuovo dean. Le cose hanno iniziato a concretizzarsi. Ci sono state due giornate freddissime a gennaio, in Toscana, con un nuovo


with Giampietro and the city’s mayor, Fabrizio Fè, focused on Pienza’s needs and aspirations and the issues the landscape and historic preservation studios might face. And so, in March, the students, full of curiosity and incredibly well-prepared, arrived for their intense and rainy Tuscan week, their explorations and encounters fundamental for the development of their projects. And now, from all of this serendipity, here, in this volume, are the results. It was a privilege and a pleasure for me to have participated in this adventure and especially to have had the opportunity to return something meaningful to Penn and its students. I was honored when another new friend, Rebecca Popowsky asked me to prepare this brief introduction. “Beholding eyes” sometimes provide new viewpoints for those accustomed to seeing things in ways often taken for granted. And so I hope that the beholding eyes of the Penn students and faculty, and the projects that resulted from their understandings and deep thought, will benefit Pienza in considering some of the tangible and intangible actions and modifications necessary for shaping a fruitful cultural future for the city.

amico, Randall Mason. Visite ai luoghi e discussioni con Giampietro e il sindaco di Pienza, Fabrizio Fè, hanno consentito mettere a fuoco, sia le esigenze e le aspettative di Pienza, che i temi che gli studenti di progettazione del paesaggio e di conservazione del patrimonio storico avrebbero potuto affrontare. Infine, nel marzo 2017 gli studenti, curiosi e straordinariamente ben preparati, sono arrivati per la loro settimana intensiva e piovosa in Toscana, essendo le loro esplorazioni e i loro incontri fondamentali per lo sviluppo dei progetti. Ed ora, da tutte queste coincidenze (e non solo), ecco, in questo volume, i risultati. Per me è stato un privilegio e un piacere avere partecipato a questa avventura e soprattutto avere avuto l’opportunità di restituire, a Penn e ai suoi studenti, qualcosa di significativo. Sono stata lusingata quando un’altra nuova amica, Rebecca Popowsky mi ha chiesto di scrivere queste righe. A volte uno sguardo inatteso è capace di fornire nuovi punti di vista a chi è abituato a vedere le cose in modo scontato. Quindi la mia speranza è che gli sguardi freschi degli studenti e dei docenti di Penn, insieme ai progetti che sono il risultato dei loro studi e dei loro approfonditi ragionamenti, aiutino Pienza a ripensare sia le azioni materiali ed immateriali, che le trasformazioni necessarie per dare forma ad un futuro culturale, per la città, proficuo e fruttuoso.

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Letter from the City of Pienza | Fabrizio Fè, Giampietro Colombini

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LETTER FROM THE CITY OF PIENZA LETTERA DALLA CITTÀ DI PIENZA


Fa parte da sempre della politica culturale e della formazione della Città di Pienza la collaborazione con le più importanti e prestigiose Università italiane, europee, americane partendo da un’antica tradizione che vede Pienza culla dell’Umanesimo italiano e luogo di incontro di artisti, di poeti e di umanisti.

La collaborazione instaurata con l’Università della Pennsylvania costituisce un importante risultato per il Comune di Pienza sia dal punto di vista dell’immagine internazionale della Città, che da quello della crescita e dello sviluppo culturale della Comunità che manifesta oggi, ancora più che nel passato, la necessità continua di un confronto con istituzioni culturali importanti ma anche con la variegata e complessa socialità che la presenza di studenti e docenti provenienti da realtà socio economiche e culturali differenti può assicurare. Insomma i Cittadini di Pienza per poter meglio precisare lo sviluppo del proprio futuro e poter calibrare le giuste scelte di politica economica e culturale hanno oggi la necessità di trovare occasioni di incontro e confronto con Enti ed Istituzioni pubbliche e private, Italiane e Estere capaci di generare un costante e sempre produttivo confronto tra le tradizioni secolari locali e la spinta progressista e innovativa proveniente per esempio da organismi universitari. Niente di meglio dunque del contatto con una delle più antiche Università americane in un settore come quello dell’arte dell’architettura, dello studio del paesaggio a noi così caro. Pienza è ormai da decenni Sito Unesco e anche la Val d’Orcia lo è da tempo, indicati dalla importante istituzione quali ‘patrimonio dell’umanità’ ecco dunque la necessità di un apporto internazionale per la conservazione e lo sviluppo di queste realtà oggi molto conosciute e molto amate. Non secondariamente è fondamentale per Pienza creare occasioni di incontri fra giovani studiosi, studenti e insegnanti locali e colleghi di cittadinanza straniera, portatori di idee, di tecniche, di studi e di stimoli nuovi per bene operare in questo territorio. Il Comune di Pienza intende operare in questa direzione unitamente alla Università della Pennsylvania, certa che questa collaborazione non potrà che portare benefici alla nostra Comunità e alla nostra Città. Nel passato altre esperienze analoghe hanno apportato grandi benefici a Pienza, sia in termini di scoperte, che in tema di ricerca di soluzioni alle necessità della Città ma tutte le precedenti esperienze avevano purtroppo una limitazione temporale; l’auspicio è che questa tradizione possa proseguire nei prossimi anni con continuità e profitto con continuità e per questo il Comune di Pienza intende operare con i mezzi disponibili per rendere operative le attività didattiche e di studio delle Università della Pensilvania, certi che tutto ciò sarà utile e necessario anche a questa Amministrazione per le proprie scelte e per le proprie attività di manutenzione e di sviluppo del territorio ma soprattutto consentirà un progressivo accrescimento reciproco a coloro che verranno a Pienza ed ai Pientini che sapranno confrontarsi con gli ospiti. Un particolare ringraziamento all’ arch. Ilene Steingut ed ai professori Randall Frambes Mason, Lauri Olin, Rebecca Popowsky and il preside Frederick Steiner che hanno prestato la loro opera, il loro impegno ed il loro entusiasmo in questa bellissima avventura. Il Sindaco di Pienza - Fabrizio Fè L’Assessore alla Cultura – Giampietro Colombini

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Collaboration with the most important and prestigious Italian, European and American universities

has always underpinned Pieza’s cultural and educational policy and activity. This could not be otherwise given Pienza’s history as the cradle of Italian humanism and meeting place for artists, poets and humanists. Partnership with the University of Pennsylvania is an important achievement for the Municipality of Pienza from the standpoint of the city’s international image, as well as the community’s growth and cultural development, which is manifested today, more than ever, in the continuing need for dialogue with important cultural institutions but also with the varied and complex social dynamics created by the presence of students and teachers coming from different cultural realities. In order to better define the city’s future and calibrate appropriate choices regarding its economic and cultural policy, today Pienza’s citizens need opportunities for meeting and discussion with private and public institutions, both Italian and foreign, that can generate a constant and ever-productive exchange between local secular traditions and the progressive and innovative energy coming, for example, from academia. To this end, nothing could have been more stimulating than contacting one of America’s oldest universities in fields such as architecture and landscape design, themes historically so dear to us. For decades now, Pienza, along with the Val d’Orcia, has been a UNESCO heritage site, designated by that important institution as ‘heritage of humanity’. As a result, international contributions to the preservation and development of our well-known and beloved places are fundamental. 14

No less important is the fact that it is crucial for Pienza to create opportunities for local scholars, students and teachers and foreign colleagues, bearers of ideas, techniques, studies, and new stimuli to meet. The City of Pienza is committed to working in this direction together with the University of Pennsylvania, certain that this collaboration can only benefit our community and our city. In the past, similar experiences have brought great advantages to Pienza, in terms of discoveries and solutions to the needs of the City. However these prior experiences had the unfortunate limit of the time-frames involved. Today, it is our fervent hope that this tradition can continue in the coming years with constancy and reciprocity. For this reason, the City of Pienza intends to operate with its available means to continue the University of Pennsylvania’s educational and research activities, certain that this will be useful and necessary for the Administration in making policy choices and maintaining and developing its physical context. Above all, it will allow for a progressive and mutual growth of those who visit Pienza as well as of its residents, who will be able to interact fruitfully with its guests. We would like to thank Ilene Steingut, professors Randall Frambes Mason, Laurie Olin, Rebecca Popowsky and Dean Frederick Steiner who, with their enthusiasm and dedication, contributed to this wonderful adventure. Mayor, Fabrizio Fè Cultural Commissioner, Giampietro Colombini


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Preface | Frederick Steiner

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BEAUTY IS NOT ENOUGH LA BELLEZZA NON È ABBASTANZA


“Design is not making Beauty/Beauty emerges from selection/ affinities/integration/love.” - Louis Kahn “Il Design non consiste nel creare la bellezza/la bellezza emerge da selezione/affinità/integrazione/amore.”

If something is beautiful, it will be

sustained. So Elizabeth Meyer asserts in her wonderful essay “Sustaining Beauty: The Performance of Appearance.”* Her case is compelling. Others posit that good design is sustainable design. The town of Pienza, in Tuscany, illustrates that, unfortunately, neither beauty nor design alone can sustain a place. By any measure, Pienza is beautiful, breathtakingly so. Its early Renaissance piazza is a design masterpiece. Yet, the population is declining, the local economy is struggling, some new developments are unattractive, and parking is a challenge. In the surrounding countryside, which frames the scenic, hill-top town, farmers are aging and not being replaced. Climate change is shaking the very foundation of the city’s ancient agrarian economy. The cathedral that anchors the piazza is also on shaky ground as the architect needed to extend its apse and ambulatory beyond the bedrock for symmetry. Pope Pius II and Bernardo Rossellino’s vision has been cracking since it was constructed in the late 15th century. No amount of bracing has been able to alter the deep structure of the place. Good design is not sustainable unless it reckons with constraints of the place. PennDesign graduate students in landscape architecture and historic preservation took on these challenges, and others, through the Spring of 2017. They mapped Pienza’s assets and envisioned interventions to better

se qualcosa è bello, sarà

preservato. Così afferma Elizabeth Meyer nel suo meraviglioso saggio “Sostenere la bellezza: la prestazione dell’apparenza”.* La sua tesi è convincente. Altri sostengono che un buon design è un design sostenibile. La città di Pienza in Toscana dimostra che, purtroppo, né la bellezza né il design da soli possono conservare un luogo. Da ogni punto di vista, Pienza è bellissima, addirittura mozzafiato. La sua piazza, del primo rinascimento, è un capolavoro di architettura. Tuttavia, la popolazione sta diminuendo, l’economia locale sta avendo difficoltà, alcune nuove costruzioni recenti sono sgradevoli e parcheggiare è una sfida. Nella campagna circostante, che inquadra la panoramica città collinare, gli agricoltori stanno invecchiando e non c’è qualcuno che li sostituisce. Il cambiamento climatico sta scuotendo le fondamenta stesse della sua antica economia agraria. Anche la cattedrale, su cui si basa la piazza, poggia su un terreno instabile, poiché l’architetto, per ragioni di simmetria, aveva la necessità di estendere l’abside ed il deambulatorio al di là del substrato roccioso. La visione di Papa Pio II e di Bernardo Rossellino ha iniziato ad incrinarsi alla fine del XV secolo, a partire dal momento in cui è stata realizzata. Nessun sistema di rinforzo è stato in grado di modificare la struttura profonda del luogo. Il buon design non è sostenibile a meno che non tenga

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Preface | Frederick Steiner

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San Biagio in Montepulciano, photo by Frederick Steiner.


its future. At PennDesign, we believe travel to different locations enhances the education experience. We also value cross-disciplinary interactions and collaborations. New places, new relationships with other fields can open our thinking to new possibilities. Laurie Olin, Randy Mason, Rebecca Popowsky, and I have deep ties with Italy and are enthusiastic to share our knowledge. The Pienza studio and seminar provided such an opportunity. In addition to teaching what we know, we also learned much from our students. We saw familiar places through fresh eyes and smart minds. Our students conceived thoughtful visions for living landscapes. Returning to Meyer’s argument, Pienza also illustrates that beauty should be part of any effort to sustain a building, a town, or a landscape. The beauty of the town and the countryside provides the bedrock for renewed prosperity. Our students suggest, in the pages that follow, how beauty can emerge through design and preservation. We hope Pienza’s decision-makers may find these ideas helpful and perhaps even inspiring.

conto dei vincoli del luogo. Gli studenti del corso di laurea in architettura del paesaggio e conservazione del patrimonio storico dell’Università della Pennsylvania hanno accettato questa sfida, insieme ad altre, nella primavera del 2017.Hanno rilevato e catalogato il patrimonio storico di Pienza e hanno immaginato degli interventi per migliorarne il futuro. A PennDesign, crediamo che viaggiare in luoghi differenti migliori l’esperienza formativa. Diamo inoltre valore alle interazioni e alle collaborazioni interdisciplinari. Nuovi luoghi, nuove relazioni con altri ambiti possono aprire la nostra mente a nuove possibilità. Laurie Olin, Randy Mason, Rebecca Popowsky ed io abbiamo legami profondi con l’Italia e siamo felici di condividere le nostre conoscenze. Il design studio su Pienza ed il seminario sono stati una di queste occasioni. Oltre a insegnare ciò che sappiamo, abbiamo anche imparato molto dai nostri studenti. Abbiamo visto luoghi familiari attraverso occhi nuovi e menti intelligenti. I nostri studenti hanno ideato visioni ponderate per paesaggi viventi. Ritornando alla tesi di Meyer, Pienza rende evidente anche che la bellezza dovrebbe far parte di ogni sforzo per preservare un edificio, una città o un paesaggio. La bellezza della città e della campagna costituisce il fondamento per una ritrovata prosperità. I nostri studenti, nelle pagine che seguono, suggeriscono come la bellezza possa emergere attraverso la progettazione e la conservazione.

*In Frederick R Steiner, George F. Thompson, and Armando Carbonell, editors. 2016. Nature and Cities: The Ecological Imperative in Design and Planning. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy), pp. 119-147.

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Introduction | Randall Mason

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URBAN LANDSCAPE AS INHERITANCE PAESAGGIO URBANO COME EREDITÀ


Pienza Centro Plan. Cataldi, G., & Formichi, F. (2007). Pienza forma urbis. p.8-9.

Pienza is a rare and inspiring place

---- yet its conservation issues are quite typical. Its story is more complex, its buildings and people are more resilient, its economic challenges more intractable than the outward perfection of the town and its landscape suggests. It is commonplace to say that cities are among humans’ greatest works of art ---- I think of Lewis Mumford, but many profess it ---- and Italian cities, for Americans, have long been a model, an inspiration, and an obsession. When writing about Italian cities the first temptation is quoting the great writer Italo Calvino, whose imagination captured so many of the wonders and potentials connected to the idea of a town. In his fictional Invisible Cities, urbanism is celebrated as an intensely human construction, an awesome creation beyond the ken of mere human

Pienza è un luogo raro e stimolante

- tuttavia i suoi problemi di conservazione sono abbastanza tipici. La sua storia è più complessa, i suoi edifici e la sua gente più tenaci, le sue sfide economiche più problematiche rispetto a quel che suggerisce la perfezione dell’aspetto esteriore della città e del suo paesaggio. È usuale dire che le città sono tra le più grandi opere d’arte umane - penso a Lewis Mumford, ma molti altri lo sostengono - e le città italiane, per gli americani, sono da tempo un modello, un’ispirazione e un’ossessione. Quando si scrive sulle città italiane, il primo istinto è citare il grande scrittore Italo Calvino, la cui immaginazione ha immortalato tante delle meraviglie e delle potenzialità legate all’idea di città. Nelle sue immaginarie Città invisibili, l’urbanismo è celebrato come una

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Introduction | Randall Mason action. The brilliance of his imagination reveals much about experiencing cities, about the meaning and lives of actual places, that they are more layered, complex and imperfect than “work of art” suggests.

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With our imagination nourished by Calvino, marching orders for our project in Pienza are conveyed more pointedly by contemporary historian Salvatore Settis, in his recent If Venice Dies (Se Venezia muore)*. His love-letter to the wonders and challenges of Venice is really a call to action for urban heritage and landscape conservation everywhere: “The eclipse of memory hangs over us all, posing a threat to our civil society, undermining our future, and suffocating the present.” Venice is the endangered species on whose fate the ecosystem rests. If Venice is killed (by cruise-ship tourism, greed, rising waters), what hope is there for lesser places where urbanism and landscape have long evolved?

costruzione intensamente umana, una straordinaria creazione che va oltre la comprensione della mera azione dell’uomo. La brillantezza della sua immaginazione ci dice molto riguardo la conoscenza delle città, il significato e la vita dei luoghi fisici, che sono più stratificati, complessi e imperfetti di quanto non suggerisca l’espressione “opera d’arte”.

Con la nostra immaginazione alimentata da Calvino , l’ordine del giorno per il nostro progetto a Pienza viene indirizzato più accuratamente dallo storico contemporaneo Salvatore Settis, nel suo recente saggio Se Venezia muore. La sua lettera d’amore rivolta alle meraviglie e alle sfide di Venezia è veramente una chiamata alle armi per il patrimonio urbano e la conservazione del paesaggio in tutto il mondo: “L’eclissi della memoria incombe su noi tutti, minaccia la convivenza civile, insidia il future, toglie respiro al presente”. Venezia è la specie a rischio di estinzione sul This is the challenge in managing cui destino poggia l’ecosistema. Se our inheritance ---- how do we keep viene uccisa Venezia (dal turismo it such that we recognize it as our delle navi da crociera, dall’avidità, dalle heritage, while using it productively and acque alte), quale speranza c’è per responsibly in the present? To manage luoghi minori dove l’urbanistica e il our personal inheritance, we think paesaggio si sono evoluti da tempo? not only of protecting it, but also of Questa è la sfida nella gestione del investing in it, improving it, increasing nostro patrimonio: come lo si mantiene it for future generations. Same goes in modo tale da poterlo riconoscere for our collective heritage in the form come nostro patrimonio, usandolo in of cities and landscapes; paradoxically, modo produttivo e responsabile nel to keep it we also must change it, often presente? Nel gestire questa eredità, subtly but sometimes dramatically. The non pensiamo solo a conservarla, real challenge of conservation is not ma anche ad investire su di essa, stopping change, it is managing and a migliorarla e ad arricchirla per le designing change. generazioni future. Lo stesso vale per il nostro patrimonio collettivo in forma di The practical challenge of managing città e di paesaggi; paradossalmente, change ---- especially with places such per mantenerlo dobbiamo anche


as Pienza in mind ---- is eloquently stated by Settis: “The beauty of cities and landscapes is something else entirely: it’s a tangible horizon, and not some lofty ideal; a heritage that doesn’t belong to the individual, but rather to his or her community; it doesn’t entail sudden revelations, but instead a continuously evolving narrative composed of plans, glances, gestures, skills, and memories. It isn’t actually beyond us because we are in fact an essential part of it, because the same air and blood binds the great monuments of art, nature, and history to those who created them, or look after them, or dwell in them.”* So it is with Pienza. The magic made of arranging stones, earth, plants, and sky we were able to experience first-hand. We remember it as a place to deeply appreciate, going slowly and staying locally, reading the efforts of many generations to make, use, adjust and interpret a rich townscape.

cambiarlo, spesso in modo sottile, ma a volte in modo deciso. La vera sfida nella conservazione non sta nel fermare il cambiamento, ma nel gestirlo e guidarlo. La sfida pratica della gestione del cambiamento -avendo in particolare in mente luoghi come Pienza -è dichiarat in modo eloquente da Settis: “Altra cosa è la bellezza delle città e dei paesaggi: tangibile orizzonte e non vagheggiamento visionario; patrimonio non dell’individuo ma delle comunità; fatto non di subitanee illuminazioni, ma di una trama continua di progetti, di sguardi, di gesti, di saperi, di memorie. Non sta al di sopra di noi perché - anzi – noi stessi ne siamo parte essenziale, perché una stessa aria e uno stesso sangue accomunano i monumenti dell’arte, della natura e della storia a chi li ha creati e a chi li custodisce e li abita.” Così è per Pienza. La magia fatta di pietre, terra, piante e cielo siamo stati in grado di sperimentarla di prima mano. La ricordiamo come un posto da comprendere profondamente, procedendo lentamente e rimanendo a livello locale, leggendo gli sforzi di molte generazioni per creare, utilizzare, regolare e interpretare un ricco paesaggio urbano.

*Settis, Salvatore. Se Venezia muore. Torino: Einaudi, 2014.

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Introduction | Laurie Olin

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PAST IS PROLOGUE (STILL) QUEL CHE È PASSATO È APPENA IL PROLOGO (SEMPRE)


Piazza Pio II, Pienza. Photo by Frederick Steiner. 27

Every landscape has a history ----

geological, ecological, and cultural. The combination and circumstances of their interaction through time has resulted in some regions and communities being seen as of special character and value. It is an irony that many places considered beautiful, places that attract visitors and tourists from around the world, are fragile, and struggle with many of the problems that exist elsewhere, problems that tourists are trying to leave behind. These places are threatened by tidal surges of these very same pleasure-seeking visitors. The Val d’Orcia in southern Tuscany is such a place. Historically rich and physically attractive, it has served as a setting for films that depict the world as it was in the first decades of the

Ogni paesaggio ha una storia:

geologica, ecologica e culturale. La combinazione e le circostanze della loro interazione nel tempo hanno fatto sì che alcune regioni e comunità vengano considerate speciali per carattere e valore. È ironico che molti luoghi considerati belli e , che attraggono visitatori e turisti provenienti da tutto il mondo, siano fragili e lottino con molti dei problemi che esistono altrove e che questi turisti stanno cercando di lasciarsi alle spalle, mentre, allo stesso tempo, sono minacciati dalle ondate di questi stessi visitatori in cerca di piacere. La Val D’Orcia nella Toscana meridionale è un posto così. Storicamente ricca e attraente, ha fatto da scenario a film che descrivono il mondo come era


Introduction | Laurie Olin last century, before modern highways, modern architecture, engineering, and agribusiness changed the look and character of so much of Europe and America. Pienza, the first Renaissance planned city, located 30 miles south of Siena, is a microcosm of the dilemmas of such situations. A world heritage site, Pienza has an economy that flourishes for three months in the summer and struggles the rest of the year. The young, as elsewhere in Italy, receive a fine education, but then leave the town, the region, and often the country to find work. Certain products of local agriculture are world famous and highly priced ---- Brunello wine from nearby Montalcino; pecorino cheese from the sheep ---- but a general paucity of other 28

nei primi decenni del secolo scorso, prima che le moderne autostrade, l’architettura moderna, l’ingegneria e l’industria agroalimentare abbiano cambiato l’aspetto e il carattere di così tanta parte dell’Europa e dell’America. Pienza, la prima città rinascimentale progettata, 50 chilometri a sud di Siena, è un microcosmo dei dilemmi che nascono da tali circostanze. Un sito patrimonio mondiale dell’umanità ha un’economia che prospera per tre mesi in estate e fatica per il resto dell’anno. I giovani, come altrove in Italia, ricevono un’ottima istruzione, ma poi lasciano la città, la regione e spesso il paese per trovare lavoro. Alcuni prodotti dell’agricoltura locale sono famosi a livello mondiale e molto ricercati - il vino Brunello


economic endeavors. The current cost and difficulties of energy production, physical problems with a welter of historic structures, long term threats of climate change in an area that already suffers from lengthy droughts, freezing winters and monsoonal flooding ---- all of these pose planning and design problems that the residents and authorities in the town and region are keenly aware of and are searching for ideas, projects, and help to address.

prodotto nella vicina Montalcino e in tutta la valle; il formaggio Pecorino - ma una generale scarsità di altre attività economiche, i costi e le difficoltà attuali della produzione energetica, i problemi dovuti all’insieme di edifici storici, le minacce a lungo termine del cambiamento climatico in un’area che già soffre di lunghi periodi di siccità, inverni freddi e alluvioni monsoniche - tutto ciò pone problemi di pianificazione e progettazione di cui i residenti e le autorità cittadine e For many years I have taught graduate regionali sono fortemente consapevoli design studios that bring students from per cui sono in cerca di idee, progetti ed different professional fields together to aiuto per affrontarli. work in collaboration to develop helpful solutions to physical problems that could offer social and ecological benefit Per molti anni ho insegnato corsi to a variety of communities. This universitari di progettazione all’interno work is intended to help the students dei quali studenti provenienti da campi 29

Entry arch fresco and the duomo, Pienza. Ink sketch by Laurie Olin.


Introduction | Laurie Olin

Picolo Bar in Pienza. Ink sketch by Laurie Olin.

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gain useful skills and work habits while introducing them to challenging issues of philosophical and artistic import. These studios are intended to broaden their cultural perspective, informed by history and science, and to prepare them to work closely with others with different talents and views, on the challenging problems of our moment. Our students come from all over the world. When they leave they depart for widely varying places on different continents. For this reason it makes sense to take them to places they don’t know well, to study and work. It forces attention. They can’t assume that they know everything, or that their habits of mind are adequate to understand what is going on, how things work, what others need or think. The setting is different ---- the birds and plants, the architecture and food, the history and climate. To be helpful they must learn to listen and see carefully. They must study the economic and political realities in a way that most people don’t bother to do carefully, even in their own country, though that

professionali diversi hanno collaborato per sviluppare soluzioni utili a problemi concreti, capaci di offrire vantaggi sociali ed ecologici a varie comunità. Questo lavoro ha lo scopo di aiutare gli studenti a acquisire competenze pratiche e consuetudini di lavoro, allo stesso tempo facendoli familiarizzare con importanti questioni di carattere filosofico ed artistico. Questi corsi di progettazione servono ad ampliare la loro prospettiva culturale,basata sulla storia e sulla scienza, e a prepararli a lavorare a stretto contatto con altri, con talenti e opinioni differenti, su problemi stimolanti del nostro tempo. I nostri studenti provengono da tutto il mondo. Quando si laureano, se ne vanno in luoghi molto differenti tra loro, in diversi continenti. Per questo motivo ha senso portarli a studiare e a lavorare in luoghi che non conoscono bene. Questo sviluppa la loro attenzione. Non possono presupporre di conoscere tutto, o che le loro abitudini intellettuali siano adeguate per capire cosa stia succedendo, come funzionino le cose, di cosa gli altri abbiano bisogno o


would be extremely useful if they did. University professors, like parents, hope to steer the next generation away from mistakes and bad habits ---- in architecture, planning, landscape design, infrastructure ---- believing that history isn’t over, and that we can learn from both our successes and mistakes, and in so doing make the world richer than we found it.

cosa pensino. L’ambiente è diverso: gli uccelli e le piante, l’architettura e il cibo, la storia e il clima. Per essere utili, devono imparare ad ascoltare e vedere con attenzione. Devono studiare le realtà economiche e politiche in un modo più attento di quanto la maggior parte delle persone, anche nel loro paese, si preoccupa di fare, sebbene sarebbe estremamente vantaggioso se lo facessero. I professori universitari, come i genitori, sperano di indirizzare la generazione successiva lontano da errori e cattive abitudini nell’architettura, nella progettazione pianificazione, nella progettazione del paesaggio, nelle infrastrutture credendo che la storia non sia finita e che si possa imparare dai nostri successi e dai nostri errori e, così facendo, lasciare il mondo più ricco di quanto lo abbiamo trovato.

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Introduction | Rebecca Popowsky

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THE SLOWLY MADE CITY LA CITTÁ FORMATASI LENTAMENTE


The widely accepted relationship

between time and value (‘time is money”) is that the two are inversely proportional. That is, the less time spent on a task, the more value is gained through its completion. More time, conversely, means less value. In part due to this almost universally accepted proposition, technological advances lead inevitably toward the minimization (or annihilation) of time and toward instant value. In the field of architecture, this advancement has led recently to a complete collapse in the relationship between time, design and making. Design software and digital fabrication techniques allow design and fabrication to become one, so that buildings can be printed directly from architectural models, without passing through the hands of the builder or the craftsman. Similarly, in the field of urban design, particularly in the developing world, cities can be created almost instantaneously in places with no history (or interrupted histories) of human habitation. The temporal distance between imagining and making is shorter and the distance between creative vision and physical manifestation has almost entirely vanished. It is in this context that we visit Pienza ---- the very place, the first “Ideal City” of the Renaissance, where Design first replaced Time as the primary shaper of urban form. In 1459, Pope Pius II, with the Humanist architect Bernardo Rossellino, began construction of the four buildings that frame Pienza’s trapezoidal central square, based on the principles set forth by Renaissance

La relazione ampiamente accettata

tra tempo e valore (“il tempo è denaro”) è tale che i due termini sono inversamente proporzionali. Infatti, meno tempo si passa su una mansione, più valore si acquisisce attraverso il suo completamento. L’efficienza aggiunge valore. A causa, almeno in parte, di questa affermazione, quasi universalmente accettata, i progressi tecnologici portano inevitabilmente verso la minimizzazione (o l’annulamento) del tempo, l’aumento dell’efficienza e verso il valore istantaneo. Nel campo dell’architettura questo progresso ha recentemente portato ad un completo crollo del rapporto tra il tempo, la progettazione e la realizzazione. I software di progettazione e le tecniche di fabbricazione digitale consentono alla progettazione e alla fabbricazione di diventare una cosa sola, al punto che gli edifici possono essere stampati direttamente da modelli architettonici digitali, senza passare per le mani del costruttore o dell’artigiano. Allo stesso modo, nel campo dell’urbanistica, specialmente nel mondo in via di sviluppo, le città possono essere create quasi istantaneamente in luoghi senza una storia (o con una storia interrotta) di insediamenti umani. La distanza temporale tra immaginazione e creazione è più breve mentre la distanza tra la visione creativa e la manifestazione fisica è quasi completamente svanita. È in questo contesto che visitiamo Pienza -proprio quel luogo, la prima “Città Ideale” del Rinascimento, dove

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Introduction | Rebecca Popowsky

The occidental gate of Pieve di Corsignano, photo by Frederick Steiner.

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artists and architects like Leon Battista Alberti (Rosselino’s teacher) and Filippo Brunelleschi. Through a combination of erasure and insertion, the medieval fabric of the existing town, Corsignano, was re-shaped to reflect the Renaissance ideals of order and reason. Here, as in Florence and Rome in this period, Architecture became a fine art, as opposed to a craft, and our modern idea of Design was born. It may not be surprising, therefore, that the individuals charged with governing and shaping the town today (the mayor, the commissioner of culture, the municipal architect) have an uncommonly sophisticated understanding of the false dichotomy between preservation and change. They realize that any discussion of the future of Pienza must be embedded in a deep understanding of the past and that the preservation of Pienza’s heritage and the management of its potential futures are two sides of the same coin. In nearby Bologna, with the beginning of the Slow Food Movement,

il Progetto ha sostituito il Tempo come primo elemento capace di dare forma al tessuto urbano. Nel 1459, Papa Pio II, con l’architetto umanista Bernardo Rossellino, iniziò a costruire i quattro edifici che inquadravano la piazza centrale trapezoidale di Pienza, basati sui principi espressi da artisti rinascimentali ed architetti come Leon Battista Alberti (maestro di Rossellino) e Filippo Brunelleschi. Attraverso una combinazione di cancellazioni ed aggiunte, il tessuto medievale della città esistente, Corsignano, è stato riformato per rispecchiare gli ideali rinascimentali dell’ordine e della ragione. Qui, come a Firenze e a Roma nello stesso periodo, l’Architettura diventa un’arte raffinata, invece che un mestiere, e nasce la nostra idea moderna di Progetto. Non può quindi sorprendere, pertanto, che gli uomini incaricati di governare e modellare la città oggi (il sindaco, l’assessore alla cultura, il responsabile dell’ufficio tecnico) hanno una rara e sofisticata comprensione della falsa


chef Marcella Hazan recognized time as an essential ingredient, literally, of culinary craft. Similarly, might Pienza represent a convincing argument for the reconsideration of time, change and accumulation as essential ingredients of the living city? The commonly perceived benefits of speed and efficiency have not changed much in modern history. What has changed, in the Anthropocene Era, is our ability to maximize efficiencies to such a degree that we can virtually negate time and, by extension, nature. In this context, then, what is the new relationship between the urban condition and the field of architecture, which is increasingly positioned in direct opposition to time and change? There is an opportunity, in our study of Pienza, to conceive of a reversal of the trends toward the compression and collapse of time in the making of architecture, cities and landscapes ---to move instead toward an expanded engagement of time, through the lens of cultural and natural heritage.

dicotomia tra la conservazione ed il cambiamento. Si rendono conto che qualunque discussione sul futuro di Pienza deve necessariamente essere incorporata all’interno di una profonda comprensione del passato e che la conservazione del patrimonio di Pienza e la gestione dei suoi potenziali futuri sono due facce della stessa medaglia. Nella vicina Bologna, con l’inizio del movimento Slow Food, lo chef Marcella Hazan ha riconosciuto il tempo come un Ingrediente essenziale, letteralmente, di artigianato culinario. Pienza potrebbe, allo stesso modo, rappresentare un argomento convincente per la riconsiderazione del tempo, del cambiamento e dell’accumulazione come ingredienti essenziali della città vivente? I vantaggi comunemente percepiti della velocità e dell’efficienza non sono probabilmente cambiati molto nel corso della storia moderna. Ciò che è cambiato, nell’era Antropocenica, è la nostra capacità di massimizzare l’efficienza in misura tale da negare verosimilmente il tempo e, per estensione, la natura. In questo contesto, dunque, qual è la nuova relazione tra la condizione urbana e l’architettura, che è sempre più schierata in opposizione al tempo e al cambiamento? C’è un’opportunità, nel nostro studio di Pienza, di concepire un’inversione di tendenza per quanto concerne la compressione e il crollo del tempo nella costruzione delle città e dei paesaggi e un crescente impiego del tempo, passando attraverso l’obiettivo del patrimonio culturale e naturale?

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“For, if without prophecy there is no hope, then without memory there can be no communication.� - Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter, Collage City, 1978

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Conservation and Landscape Exploration | Meta-analysis

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META-ANALYSIS AND TOPICAL RESEARCH


Spring Semester 2017

Assignment 1: Pienza and the Val D’Orcia – Research and Analysis

Cartographic collage by Rebecca Popowsky.

Assigned: 1/12/17 Due: 1/23/17

Assignment

The intent of the first studio assignment is to understand, as intimately as possible, the town of Pienza a surrounding landscape, through analysis of both cultural and natural systems and histories. Landscape architecture and historic preservation students are asked to work collaboratively and in groups, based on attached research topic spreadsheet.

The intent of this meta-analysis

39 and comparables. Students from was to understand, as intimately Deliverableseach group relied on the existing as possible, the town of Pienza Due by 1/15/17: analyses andJuno) report data to (this validate Submit (on a storyboard can be a quick sketch of each map or diagram) an and its surrounding landscape, detailing topics their hypothesis and synthesize their covered in initial research and drawing/representation strategies. through analysis of both cultural findings. Due 1/19/17: Each group should print at least four 11”X17” sheets for initial review in studio. and natural systems and histories. Due 1/23/17: Digital presentation (template will be provided) and presentation boards. Landscape architecture and historic Review: 12pm, 1/23/17, in Dean’s Alley preservation students were asked to work collaboratively and in groups, Additional Requirements based on the attached researchStudents topic are required to bring copies of passports and, if possible, visas to class on Thursday 1/19. The spreadsheet. These topics are: biomes, be required in order to make group travel arrangements. Students should contact their instructors geology and topography, hydrology, immediately if they are aware of any issues that will make travel impossible. contemporary issues including demography and transportation infrastructures, the cultural landscape of Pienza, tourism markets and economic development, the impact of the World Heritage documentation,


Meta-analysis | Biomes

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Top: map of bird’s migratory. Bottom: Tuscan mammals and vegetations across topography.


Meta-analysis | Geology and Topography

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Top: map of geological history of Tuscan region. Topgraphy source: US Geological Survey. Bottom: clay content and stoniness soil map of Sienese region. Centro Nazionale Cartografia Pedologica.


Meta-analysis | Hydrology

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Top: regional map of drainage basins and major rivers. Data source: carta dei bacini idrografici (bacino regionale Ombrone); Cataldi, G., & Formichi, F. (2007). Pienza forma urbis: materiali per il museo della citta e del territorio. Aion. Bottom: study of morphological transformation of Orcia River. Data source: Rinaldi, M. (2003). Recent channel adjustments in alluvial rivers of Tuscany.


Meta-analysis | Contemporary Issues

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Top: research on contemporary issues: demographic map of Pienza. Data source: urbistat. Bottom: research on contemporary issues: transportation infrastructure map of Tuscany.


Meta-analysis | Cultural Landscape of Pienza

1682

Left: Map of Pienza’s Growth - Regolamento Urbanistico; Right: Engraving of Pienzafrom 1682.

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Left: Engraving from 1803; Right: Painting from 1905.

Towns in the Val d’Orcia today and and 1959. Historic maps of Central Italy from The Blue Guides - Rome and Cental Italy.


The cultural landscapes of Pienza and the Val d’Orcia have been shaped over centuries

by natural, cultural and economic forces. The landscape’s layered history demonstrates the reciprocal relationship between nature and culture. Humans have shaped the landscape through cultivation and design, but the landscape has influenced the shape and form of settlement, inspired artistic representations, and contributed to regional identity. The students explored the history of these cultural and natural exchanges to craft landscape and preservation strategies that respond to the full, interdependent range of these forces. Principal findings: • •

• •

Cultural use and reshaping of the natural environment ---- the biancane landforms, orderly olive groves, town sites, and rolling hills ---- contribute strongly to the regional sense of place. Artistic representations of the city have given prominence to the “postcard” view of the picturesque city on a hill, surrounded by a well-cultivated landscape. The view of the city as one approaches from the south, as well as the viewshed of the Val d’Orcia from the city’s south wall, are iconic. These visual relationships between the city and its surrounding landscape are important to the experience of Pienza. Archaeological excavations reveal that the same agricultural products have been grown in the region since the Neolithic Era. Cultivation of the land is deeply tied to the cultural identity of the region, but the means and yields of this cultivation are being dramatically altered by climate change. Since the mid-nineteenth century, the region has been urbanizing. In Pienza, this growth occurred to the northwest of the Centro. Similar growth across Tuscany has contributed to an increase in the prices of agricultural products. The combined effects of climate change and urbanization have led Italy to be more dependent on the importation of food products. Today, Italy imports most of its agricultural products and exports luxury goods. The students identified these economic and environmental developments as potentially harmful to the natural-cultural relationship that characterizes Pienza and the Val d’Orcia.

Bellini, Cristina, Marta Mariotti-Lippi, Miria Mori Secci, Biancamaria Aranguren, and Paola Perazzi. 2008. Plant gathering and cultivation in prehistoric Tuscany (Italy). Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 17 (S1): S103-12. Federico, Giovanni, and Paolo Malanima. 2004. Progress, decline, growth: Product and productivity in Italian agriculture, 1000-2000. The Economic.

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Meta-analysis | Impact of the World Heritage Documentation

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Interior of the Cathedral, photo by Mikayla Raymond.


UNESCO World Heritage designation recognizes sites that are globally significant,

regarded as valuable to the entire world, regardless of their location or cultural origin. They are considered sites of “outstanding universal value”, a nebulous term used as the standard for listing by the World Heritage Convention. All sites inscribed on the World Heritage List are required to have adequate preservation protections and heritage management mechanisms in place. UNESCO does not impose regulations or management models on WH sites per se; it only mandates that these protections be put in place by the member state. The listing criteria for which Pienza is included on the World Heritage List emphasize its Renaissance history: • • •

Criterion I: The application of the principle of the Renaissance “ideal city” in Pienza, and in particular in the group of buildings around the central square, resulted in a masterpiece of human creative genius. Criterion ii: The Historic Centre of Pienza, as the first application of the Renaissance humanist concept of urban design, was to play a significant role in subsequent urban development in Italy and beyond. Criterion iv: The buildings surrounding Pienza’s central square are an outstanding example of Humanist Renaissance design

By analyzing the inscription documentation and extensive management plans, the students found the advantages of the UNESCO World Heritage listing to be the clear recognition of Pienza’s heritage value and strong legal protections against inappropriate change. Additionally, the designation (in its guise as a tourism brand) has led to a growth in agriturismo-related activities and an increase in local property values. While this listing has spurred tourism, there are drawbacks to this global recognition. World Heritage listing and the accompanying idea of “universal outstanding value” tend to encourage a very limited definition of a place’s significance. Moreover, this designation can overwhelm the sites it is supposed to protect with mass tourism. In towns like Pienza, over-dependence on tourism and the displacement of traditional residents and industries become major threats. The students concluded that Pienza is balancing these benefits and threats of World Heritage listing well. The management plan is highly effective for the physical preservation of the built fabric of Pienza, and that the listing is valuable for promoting and sustaining tourism markets. However, care should be taken to ensure that Pienza remains a living city, with services and industries that support local residents. Luca Moreschini, Giovanni Ramello, Walter Santagata. “Un Marchio Per la Valorizzazione dei territory di eccellenza: dai siti UNESCO ai luoghi Italiana della cultura, dell’arte e del paesaggio” Minestero dei beni d delle attivita culturali e del turismo Bart van der Aa “Preserving The Heritage of Humanity? Obtaining World Heritage Status and the Impacts of Listing,” Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, 1974.

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Meta-analysis | Tourism Markets and Economic Development

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Piazza Pio II, Pienza, photo by Katlyn Cotton.


Tourism is a vital part of the economy of Pienza, but like in many

small historic towns there is a risk that the total economy will become overdependent on this sector. The students researched the tourism markets within Pienza to understand the impact of tourism for the city and discern some opportunities to diversify the economy. • •

Many tourists only experience a small part of the town and only stay for a few hours. Rural tourism is strong in the region, but surprisingly falls short of the Europe-wide levels of activity. Rural tourism is a growing market across Europe and accounts for about 45% of total hotel/ accommodation nights bought. Italy, as a country, is behind the European average (38%); Tuscany is a rural tourism leader within the country (41%). Rural tourism and agriturismo stays are stable drivers in the local economy and help to sustain local farms. There is an emphasis on “slow tourism,” where the attraction is an immersive experience in the Tuscan way of life. A lack of transportation connectivity to other Italian cities and regions contributes to the charm that makes the city attractive to tourists, but may limit its potential as a destination to a wider audience. Today, the economy in Pienza appears to rely primarily on tourism and agriculture, and they are mutually supportive. Renewable energy could help meet a need for economic diversity and lower the cost of energy in the region — but this has been a contentious issue in the Val d’Orcia for several years. As the city tourism industry continues to develop, it should be balanced with other forms of economic development to avoid overdependence. Other opportunities could include educational or arts-and-culture based development such as a preservation/ archaeology school, art park, university hosting, or culinary school.

Randelli, F., P. Romei, and M. Tortora. 2014. An evolutionary approach to the study of rural tourism: The case of tuscany. Land use Policy 38 : 276-81. Romei, Patrizia, Filippo Randelli, Marco Tortora, and Maria Tinacci Mossello. 2011. Rural tourism driving regional development in tuscany. the renaissance of the countryside. Gaggio, Dario. 2014. Valuing place/placing value: The elusive normativity of landscape in rural tuscany. Journal of Modern Italian Studies 19 (5): 556-69. Spugnoli, Paolo, Riccardo Dainelli, Lorenzo D’Avino, Marco Mazzoncini, and Luca Lazzeri. 2012. Sustainability of sunflower cultivation for biodiesel production in tuscany within the EU renewable energy directive. Biosystems Engineering 112 (1): 49-55.

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Meta-analysis | Comparables

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Rothenberg, Germany, Open Source Photo.


The study of comparables reveals how similar cities have dealt with the

issues Pienza faces, including access, tourism, and development. The students researched comparable small towns that are similarly sized, major tourist destinations, and the form of medieval walled cities. Among many choices, the cities studied for comparison were: Carcassonne, France; Rothenberg, Germany; Obidos, Portugal; Monteriggioni, Italy; San Gimignano, Italy; and Cinque Terre, Italy. Common among these cities were the issues of balancing tourism development in a living city and the common concern of capturing the real economic benefit of this tourism. •

The research showed that within walled towns, there is a trend of “historicizing” or rebuilding walled cities. This means that key aspects of what tourists experience are staged or reconstructed history. Towns similar to Pienza are often highly dependent on tourism, and yet tourism can be a source of other problems. As walled cities tend to be smaller, people tend to come in on tour buses and leave after only a few hours. Therefore, these visitors cannot meaningfully contribute to the economy of the area, and yet they are putting additional stress on fragile historic resources. This is a problem especially for places like Pienza—rural, but not far from major cities. This issue is amplified in towns that are close to other small towns, making it likely that a tour bus will stop in several towns in one day. Tourists do not leave with a real sense of the city after so short a visit—there is no real chance to absorb the nuances and pleasures of its history. A major challenge for these cities is encouraging visitors to stay for an appreciable length of time, at least to stay overnight. Most of the comparable walled cities are close enough to be a day trip from a larger city and are not necessarily destinations themselves. Most of these places have become dependent on tourism. Many are accessible by train. Pienza is actually less accessible than the majority of the comparable towns. San Gimignano has undertaken an initiative that allows buses to pay less for parking if their tourism customers stay for a minimum of one night.

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Conservation and Landscape Exploration | Fieldwork

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FIELDWORK


Charcoal sketch of percorsi in Val d’Orcia, by Le (Cindy) Xu.

The analysis phase of the semester

culminated in a ten-day trip to Pienza. Students of both landscape architecture and historic preservation were tasked with deepening their understanding of the town and surrounding cultural landscapes through firsthand observation, interviews, and on-site analysis. Field work was augmented by discussions and tours with town leaders, architects and historians. Students gained a sense of the historical and cultural context of Pienza through field trips to Siena, Montepulciano, Villa La Foce, Bagno Vignoni, Rome and several relevant sites in the town’s agricultural and postindustrial periphery.

At the close of the trip, the group presented analytical findings as well as preliminary preservation and design proposals to interested town members in a public forum. These initial sketch proposals, along with local feedback, would become a starting point for more in-depth project development through the remainder of the semester at Penn.

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Fieldwork | Integrity Mapping

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Top: Interventions by category Bottom: Interventions by scale


Integrity is defined as the ability of a

resource (building, town, landscape) to convey its cultural significance. Integrity can be diminished by obvious decay and degradation, poor repairs, inappropriate additions, or unsympathetic uses. The students identified a number of interventions that could negatively impact the historic integrity and therefore the character of the Centro: street furniture, modern window and door surrounds with sharp edges, concrete slab balconies, automobile garages, parking spaces and new buildings. These interventions were recorded throughout the Centro and rated on a scale from 1-5. Innocuous interventions, such as trashcans and street furniture, received scores of 1. Very large interventions, and therefore more serious threats to integrity, such as new buildings or parking lots, received scores of 5. By mapping these interventions, the students discerned a patten of integrity that is extremely high on the Piazza Piccolomini and the Corso Rossellino, but falls off at the Centro’s edges, particularly along its northern edges. Parking lots and bus lanes along the city’s medieval walls dramatically impact the historic character of these spaces.

Our research and investigations also revealed that the story of Pienza is significantly more complex than the traditional narrative about creating the ideal Renaissance city. Areas within the city that had many large interventions ---- and thus seemingly had low integrity ---- exposed additional layers of Pienza’s story. Piazza Galletti, surrounded by postwar buildings with large garages and concrete slab balconies, suffered bomb damage in World War II. Our investigations confirmed that integrity in Pienza is not dependent upon strictly medieval or Renaissance features. Cultural landscape features that would be considered intrusions under a narrow definition of the significance of Pienza are actually layers that add to the story’s complexity.

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Fieldwork | Public History Interpretation

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Top: Inventory of Interpretative Signage. Bottom: Parking Map.


To better understand the tourism

infrastructure within Pienza, the students conducted an inventory of public history interpretation, tourist venues, interpretative signage, accomodations, and parking. This survey allowed the students to identify gaps in the current interpretative scheme and opportunities for enhancement. The students found that of all publicly accessible street-fronting establishments, 44% of these were commercial shops. A comprehensive study of the interpretative signage throughout the city revealed both strengths and opportunities for improvement within the current scheme. The students

found that the signage already interprets a layered history, with a plaque conveying the significance of Piazza Galleti and the Second World War in Pienza. However, the students also discovered that many of the signs are not placed in the location of the sites they interpret. Additionally, the signs would be accessible to a wider audience if they were multilingual.

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Fieldwork | Public Space Typology

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Top: Map of Public Space Photo by Mikayla Raymond


The rich network of interconnected

categorically, the students identified strategies that could strengthen or public spaces of varying scale, enhance Pienza’s public spaces by materiality, and use are a significant making connections or preserving character defining feature within the distinctions. The students found that Centro. The students examnined and pedestrian access to the exterior of mapped these spaces systematically the city walls could be strengthened, by creating a public space typology as the spaces just surrounding the city taking into account the use, fabric, walls vary greatly in quality and ease of presence of seating, and planting within access, and thus are an underutilized these spaces. They also analyzed the public and historic asset. Likewise, the relationships between different public students identified that the entrances spaces, as well as the relationship to the Centro ---- particularly the between public spaces and the Northern and Western portals ---- are surrounding landscape. opportunities to strengthen visually and functionally. This study resulted in three broad categories of public space: green, paved, and parking. Within these categories, more specific typologies arose: public gathering space, widened passageways, public parks, viewpoints, civic steps, and private courtyards. By analyzing these public spaces

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Fieldwork | Character Defining Features

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Corso Rossellino, Pienza, photo by Ty Richardson.


Character-defining features are those physical qualities of buildings,

spaces, and landscapes that contribute to a unique sense of place and deserve higher levels of protection and curation. As the students explored and studied the town of Pienza, they noted eight features that together embody Pienza’s distinctive character. • •

• •

The Centro is characterized by dense urban fabric. The city’s narrow streets are lined with concentrations of block-like masses of buildings, which contribute to a feeling of compactness. Despite the dense concentration of its structures—or perhaps because of it—the city of Pienza is of a comfortable human scale. The relationships of building width to height, the rhythm of facades and entries, and the small irregular courtyards and squares all contribute to a scale that is comprehensible, accessible, and pleasurable. Pienza is distinguished by a fine network of public spaces—ranging from courtyards, passageways, and public steps. The Corso Rossellino acts as the spine of the city. Rather than dividing the north and south sectors, the Corso acts as a public space that connects the town. The many small streets and alleys that branch off of the Corso create a subtle hierarchy and reinforce the Corso’s role as the city’s backbone. Layers of medieval, Renaissance, 19th and 20th century history are visible in the urban fabric. Pienza is a city with the basic “DNA” of a compact medieval walled town, but whose main square and thoroughfare were transformed during the Renaissance. Set within and around these layers are 19th and 20th century interventions that speak to Pienza’s modern history. The materiality of the streets and buildings provide a sense of cohesion, consistency and historical richness. The varying use of stone, travertine, stucco, and brick paving throughout the city add texture and interest, while maintaining visual unity. Sgraffitto, a façade decoration made by scratching or incising a design into plaster or stucco, is prevalent along the Corso Rossellino, but traces of this ornamentation can be found scattered throughout the city. Sgraffitto, in various conditions and scales, contributes greatly to the unique appearance of Pienza’s streets and buildings. Pienza’s city wall acts as both a boundary for the Centro and as an important location for interacting with the surrounding landscape.

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Fieldwork | Sketch and Onsite Design

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Top: Pencil sketch of Duomo di Pienza, by Albert Chen. Bottom: Students are on a tour in Dumo di Pienza, photo Frederick Steiner.


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Top: Students are drawing at the Campo di Siena, photo by Laurie Olin. Bottom: Charcoal sketch of Campo di Siena, by Le (Cindy) Xu.


Fieldwork | Sketch and Onsite Design

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Top: Student’s onsite design, work by Le (Cindy) Xu. Bottom: Students are giving presentation to the locals, photo by Frederick Steiner.


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Top: Students on the site, photo by Frederick Steiner. Bottom: Ink sketch of Hanging Garden in Palazzo Piccolomini, by Zhengneng (Albert) Chen.


Conservation and Landscape Exploration | Principles for Response

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PRINCIPLES FOR RESPONSE

The research and analysis phases

informed a response that encompasses policy, program, conservation, and design. Three guiding principles drove this response. The first was rewriting the story of Pienza. The UNESCO World Heritage Listing, with its emphasis on Outstanding Universal Value, tends to enforce a particular understanding of a site’s significance. By researching the history of Pienza, assessing its physical integrity, and analyzing its interpretative scheme, the many layers of the city’s history came to the fore. Pienza is not the ideal Renaissance city that its listing implies. The story of Pienza encompasses Neolithic, medieval, and modern history ---- drawing out these underlying layers creates a more rich and compelling narrative.


Porta al Murello, Pienza, photo Randall Mason and Piazza Dante Alighieri, Pienza, photo Mikayla Raymond.

The second principle for response was a softening of the boundary that defines the Centro. By mapping threats to the city’s integrity, the students found that the greatest threats were at the edges of the walled city. By expanding this boundary to encompass the Piazza Dante Alighieri and streets and structures neighboring the wall, these spaces gain new significance and greater consideration. This buffer opens opportunities for the creation of new experiences along the city’s walls. By analyzing the economy and tourism markets of Pienza, a third principle arose: the injection of new economic markets by developing the Fornaci. Economic development is a critical factor in maintaining a living city and ensuring that the city’s economy is not over reliant on tourism. The Fornaci

offer an opportune setting for the infusion of private investment, as well as cultural-based development. The conservation response and the landscape response follow these principles. The individual projects presented in the next two chapters advance this framework.

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“La vita che t’affàbula é ancora tropo breve se ti contiene!” -Eugenio Montale, Noizie Dall’Amiata

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Historic Preservation | Introduction by Randall Mason

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HERITAGE CONSERVATION WITHOUT BORDERS CONSERVAZIONE DEL PATRIMONIO SENZA FRONTIERE


Fonte di Rutiliano, photo by Frederick Steiner.

Our hybrid seminar-studio course

explored the connections between conservation and design through the case study of Pienza. This Tuscan paragon possesses many significant layers of urban history, a rich set of connections to the regional landscape of the Val d’Orcia, and all the opportunities and challenges of a strong tourism economy. We came to study respectfully the Italian towns and landscapes with long traditions of conservation ---- at territorial, settlement and building scales ---- and surprisingly tumultuous histories. And posed the question (to ourselves, to our hosts) how should preservation and change be organized and designed? Why Pienza and the Val d’Orcia? They offer a rich place to explore important conceptual and practical questions about urban conservation and landscape preservation. They are highly significant places which, despite their official recognition and dedicated management, face some tough issues: balancing tourism development with the life of a living town; growing

Il nostro corso universitario, un

ibrido tra un “design studio” e un seminario, ha esplorato i rapporti tra conservazione e pianificazione attraverso lo studio di Pienza. Questo paradigma toscano possiede molti strati significativi della storia urbana, un ricco insieme di connessioni con il paesaggio della Val d’Orcia e tutte le opportunità e le sfide di una forte economia turistica. Siamo venuti con un atteggiamento rispettoso a studiare le città ed i paesaggi italiani con lunghe tradizioni nel campo della conservazione - su scala territoriale, comunitaria ed edilizia - e con un passato fatto di storie sorprendentemente tumultuose. E abbiamo posto (a noi stessi, alle persone che ci hanno ospitato) la seguente domanda: come dovrebbero essere organizzate e progettate la conservazione e il cambiamento? Perché Pienza e la Val d’Orcia? Offrono un posto fecondo per esplorare importanti questioni concettuali e pratiche sulla conservazione delle città e la tutela del paesaggio. Sono luoghi

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Historic Preservation | Introduction by Randall Mason

A living courtyard in Centro Pienza, photo by Frederick Steiner.

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the local economy; insisting on conservation, design, and planning excellence; and honoring the complex, long-evolving ties of between Pienza’s urbanism and the regional landscape’s ecological and production histories. We also carried a constructively critical attitude that World Heritage status (both the town and regional landscape are listed), no matter how august, did not advance the work of conservation very well. World Heritage Listing is effective as a brand, but how helpful as a tool?

molto significativi che, nonostante il loro riconoscimento ufficiale e la gestione attenta, si trovano davanti alcune questioni complicate: bilanciare lo sviluppo del turismo con la vita di una città viva; far crescere l’economia locale; continuare sulla via dell’eccellenza nella conservazione, progettazione e pianificazione; e far onore ai complessi e prolungati legami tra la storia urbana di Pienza e le tradizioni ecologiche e produttive della campagna circostante. Abbiamo anche portato avanti un atteggiamento costruttivo e critico Pienza is today regarded as a riguardo allo status di patrimonio remarkably complete town ---- distinct dell’umanità (che riguarda sia la città from and deeply integrated with the che il paesaggio circostante), che, a Tuscan landscape of the Val d’Orcia, nostro parere, non importa quanto well-conserved and well-protected. prestigioso sia, non aiuta molto nel We came to appreciate the history of lavoro di tutela. Patrimonio dell’umanità the place as more complex than the è efficace come marchio, ma quanto è postcard views, World Heritage accounts utile come strumento? or tourist presentations of Pienza suggest. For one, the Renaissance Pienza è oggi considerata una città interventions, however brilliant and straordinariamente completa - distinta significant, belie a town fabric that ma allo stesso tempo profondamente


is frankly medieval and shaped by many modern interventions. In other words, it is a layered, complex urban landscape. We came to appreciate the place’s more complicated histories ---- and to explore its potential for the generations ahead. How much and how little World Heritage nomination means. No greater recognition of the richness of a place’s history ---- “outstanding universal value” ---- yet the hard work of documentation, history-writing, discernment, conservation, and design falls to the people of the place. Not just the political leaders (an inspired group in Pienza!) and the architects (the marvelous Arch. Fausto Formichi), but the farmers, shopkeepers, chefs, children that give the place its living heritage and character. Our work was structured around a simple logic: learn as much as we could through research; test and deepen those understandings through in-place investigation and personal conversations; and propose a range of actions balancing the creative, conservative, and the productive. The students’ conservation work, as individuals and as a group, means to satisfy the imagination as well as the practical needs of current and future generations. Such is the work of heritage conservation without borders.

integrata con il paesaggio toscano della Val d’Orcia, ben conservata e ben tutelata. Abbiamo potuto apprezzare come la storia del luogo sia più complessa rispetto a quanto possono suggerire gli scorci delle cartoline, i resoconti del patrimonio mondiale dell’Unesco o le presentazioni per i turisti. Per cominciare, gli interventi rinascimentali, per quanto brillanti e significativi, legano un tessuto cittadino chiaramente medievale e modellato da molti interventi moderni. In altre parole, è un paesaggio urbano stratificato e complesso. Siamo venuti per renderci conto delle storie più complesse del luogo e ad esplorare il suo potenziale per le generazioni future. Quanto e quanto poco significa la nomina a Patrimonio dell’umanità. Non esiste un riconoscimento più importante della ricchezza della storia di un luogo - “valore universale straordinario” - tuttavia il duro lavoro di documentazione, di scrittura della storia, di discernimento, conservazione e progettazione ricade sulla popolazione del luogo. Non solo i leader politici ( e a Pienza sono un gruppo ispirato!) e gli architetti (lo straordinario Fausto Formichi), ma gli agricoltori, i negozianti, i cuochi, i bambini che conferiscono alla città il suo patrimonio vitale e il suo carattere. Il nostro lavoro è stato strutturato su una logica semplice: imparare quanto più possibile attraverso la ricerca; testare e approfondire queste conoscenze attraverso indagini in loco e interviste agli abitanti ; proponendo inoltre una serie di iniziative che bilanciano la creatività, la conservazione e la produttività. Il lavoro degli studenti di conservazione del patrimonio storico , come individui e come gruppo, ha come obiettivo quello di soddisfare l’immaginazione così come le esigenze pratiche delle generazioni attuali e future. Questo è il lavoro di conservazione del patrimonio storico senza frontiere.

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Proposals | Katlyn Cotton

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THE NEW STORY OF PIENZA


“There is this thing in preservation where we always want to say the story is deeper than everybody thinks it is, but there is still the story that everybody thinks it is that has to be told. That is where a knowledgeable tourist will go, so you start there and then you start eroding the story and enriching it.” - David Hollenberg

The customary telling of Pienza’s

history centers on the epic reconfiguring of the Centro by Pope Pius II in the 15th century. Yet the story of Pienza is told just as charismatically at the Porta al Murello as on the Piazza Pio II. The western portal, a post-World War II reconstruction which frames a view down the Corso Rosselino, announces an immediate conflict within the traditional narrative. Pienza is not only the ideal Renaissance city that its World Heritage Listing implies. An alternative narrative becomes apparent as soon as one ventures off the main square to the city’s small alleys, piazzas, and beyond to where Pienza’s many paradoxes unfold. Pienza is fundamentally medieval in its bones and structure, and over time its buildings have been thickly layered and its spaces repeatedly reshaped. The distant steel frame structures haunting the landscape just north of the city are the ultimate symbol of Pienza’s many storylines. These enigmatic skeletal forms hint at a rich

and compelling narrative thread that is often overshadowed by a conception of “Outstanding Universal Value”. These assorted layers of Pienza’s past and present exist at once in chorus and in tension, illustrating an fascinating chronicle of place over time. What follows is a booklet of the story of Pienza, retold to bring into greater focus these pieces of Pienza’s history that contribute to the incredible array and richness of the city’s past.

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The New Story of Pienza

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“Pienza is a unique and original example, with its architectural and city-planning characteristics, of a city designed and constructed according to the canons of the purest Italian Renaissance.� - UNESCO World Heritage Nomination

Top: Porta al Murello, photo by Katlyn Cotton . Below: Steel Frame at East Fornace, photo by Evan Schueckler.


Katlyn Cotton

Pienza is as much a medieval city as it is a Renaissance urban

statement, but the land has a history of settlement that goes back further still. Long before the city on the hill was constructed, the ridgeways and watershed contour lines of the Val d’Orcia dictated a network of roadways and settlements with sweeping views of the valley (Cataldi, 57). These footpaths traveled by prehistoric nomads correspond to many of the same roads traveled through the Val d’Orcia today. In protohistoric times, Neolithic settlements — scanty villages with round huts — were established on the high lookout points of these mountainous ridge systems (Cataldi, 59). Cava Barbieri was the neolithic station that occupied the promontory on which Pienza sits (Cataldi, 59). Excavations near the site of the Santa Catarina, a Baroque church outside of the city’s present wall, unearthed artifacts from the Bronze Age and testify to a continuous history of inhabitance (Pierini, 40). By the 7th century BCE, the urban phenomenon began spreading from Ancient Greece through Italy to Tuscany. The Etruscans dramatically changed the landscape of central Italy — not only the form of settlement but the shape of the land as well. They drained swamps to artificially irrigate inland valleys and hill slopes through a complicated, skillfully constructed network of canals that collected surplus water throughout Etruria (Keller, 55.) The Etruscans likely introduced the grape to Tuscany, a crop that is today synonymous with the countryside (Keller, 55). Etruscan hilltowns were the first true cities to dot the Val d’Orcia:

“In all directions, a transformation was taking place. An economic miracle, the first in Europe, was in progress. There was a complete change in housing. A modern style of building came in that replaced the former primitive settlements of straw and reed huts. The first towns, a precondition of any higher civilization, were founded” (Keller, 39). Trade between ancient Greek cities and Etruscan towns began as early as the Iron Age. The abundance of metalliferous earth in central Italy soon made the region a Mediterranean trade and plying hub (Cataldi, 61). This process was facilitated via caravan routes that passed through valley bottoms — networks that defied the prehistoric system of dry footpaths as means of travel, though these previous highland trails still determined settlement patterns (Cataldi, 61). The Val d’Orcia’s rich ceramic heritage is owed to this ancient trade network, as the import of ceramics and wares from Greece inspired an imitative production in Etruria that sparked an artistic Etruscan culture.

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The New Story of Pienza

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“A countryside which, from time immemorial, had remained more or less as nature made it, changed into a cultivated landscape. Fruitful fields, groves, and gardens replaced impenetrable thickets of bushes and trees where the forests were cleared and the swamps drained, plows furrowed the soil. Mines were cut into mountainsides, the ore was extracted and carried off in long lines of wagons.” - Werner Keller, Etruscans

View of the Val d’Orcia, photo by Mikayla Raymond.


Katlyn Cotton

During the 4th century BCE, the Roman Republic began its military conquest from central Italy throughout the entire Italian peninsula. It took over 100 years to overtake the strong confederacy occupying central Italy, and the conflict disrupted the trade established through the region’s valley bottoms (Cataldi, 65). This signaled a shift back to naturally defensible ridgeways and promontories, just as in protohistoric times. Speculation remains about whether the urban organization of Pienza has ancient roots:

“Some believe that the basic configuration of Corsignano/Pienza originated in a Roman foundation, which would have established an enduring axial street pattern common to many Roman colonial communities. The east-west orientation of the present Corso il Rossellino would, in this view, correspond to the ancient decumanus while the Via Marconi would follow the original line of the cardo.” (Mack, 18) Regardless, the Roman Republic and later Roman Empire irrevocably altered the means of urban planning in the Val d’Orcia, instigating yet another shift away from the ridge-top and valley-bottom by introducing a cardinal logic that centered on Mt. Amiata. The Via Cassia, a major roadway that traversed Etruria, was instrumental in the later development of Corsignano and Pienza. It is likely that whatever village existed there in Roman times grew up along the east-west road connecting the Via Cassia with Montepulciano (Mack, 18). Historians conjecture that a quadrangular, gridded Roman hamlet, called Corsinianus, existed along this road at what is today the eastern sector of modern Pienza (Cataldi, 69). Mt. Amiata would have been the organizing focal point of this grind, and the homes would have branched off of two parallel roads running east to west. Following the fall of the Roman Empire, cities became targets of the Barbarian invasions. Thus ancient Italians fled urban centers to repopulate the countryside in isolated villages more primitive than those of Roman times. (Cataldi, 71). The densification of provincial settlements during this period transformed the gridded Roman vici into characteristically convoluted medieval cities. By the 7th century, what were once Roman rural districts became Roman Catholic parishes. The Church controlled the countryside by building small parish churches that collected shares of crops as tithes. With the construction of the Pieve dei Santi Vito e Modesto, the misty, ancient past of medieval Corisgnano comes into clearer focus. The Pieve, a Romanesque church built by a spring just outside the city wall of modern Pienza, is the first solid, documentable evidence of development in Pienza.

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The New Story of Pienza

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Via Elisa, a medieval street in Pienza, photo by Katlyn Cotton.


Katlyn Cotton Between the 7th and 15th centuries, the medieval character of Corsignano was established as the town developed against the spine of the Corso Rossellino. By the 9th century, the region had come under the rule of the Cistercian monks from the Abbey of San Salvatore at Mt Amiata, though the Pieve remained the principle religious building in Corsignano well into the 15th century. In the 12th century, the Sienese Republic rose to prominence in Tuscany, signaling the dissolution of the monastic feudal system. Conflict between the Sienese and the Florentines resulted in increased fortification of Corsignano. Beginning in 1251, Sienese soldiers were stationed in town to enforce loyalty to their rule. The military presence was intensified in the 14th century with the construction of the Castelnuovo, after Montepulciano fell to the Florentines in 1388 (Mack, 23). Other medieval buildings gave form and pattern to the city of Corsignano before the birth of Pope Pius II. A second church, Santa Maria, was constructed on the hill during this century, occupying roughly the same site as the present Renaissance Duomo in the heart of the city, though it was oriented east to west along the city wall (Mack, 22). Architectural fragments of the Santa Maria excavated from around the Duomo are on display underneath the apse of the church today. In the next century, the othic church, San Francesco, and its attendant monastery were constructed on the Corso. The complex’s large footprint would have occupied a large portion of the medieval city. A property evaluation survey of Corsignano completed in 1320 helps to people the medieval city. At the beginning of the 14th century, Corsignano had 350 houses and 1,750 people (Mack, 26). The majority of the city’s residents unsurprisingly engaged in agriculture, with few inhabitants engaging in crafts or other trades (Mack, 26). Also unsurprisingly, the wealth was unevenly distributed — though this was not reflected in the quality of housing:

“While only a few of the houses listed were of good size and substantial value, there were just as few upon which very low property valuations were placed. This apparent anomaly might be explained if we supposed that a general economic decline had already set in by the early 14th century, producing a situation in which many whose earnings were now drastically reduced continued to live in housing built in better days” (Mack, 26).

There was very little open space in the village--only one piazza comunis is mentioned, though its location was unrecorded (Mack, 26). The only properties documented as having open space were large residences (Mack, 26). Thus the image one attains of medieval Corsignano is that

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The New Story of Pienza

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Top: Scraffito on Palazzo Salomone Piccolomini, photo by Katlyn Cotton. Bottom: Mixed materials on a structure on Via Elisa, photo by Randall Mason.


Katlyn Cotton of a compact and labyrinth walled city, with tight streets lined with tall rowhouses, crossed by a slightly curved main road. Yet by the mid 15th century, empty space would form a “substantial part of the urban environment, evidence perhaps, of continued economic erosion and population slippage resulting in the decay and collapse of abandoned houses” (Mack, 27). Thus the stage was set for the mammoth restructuring that followed the election of Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini to the papacy. The Piccolomini were an Italian noble family who acquired their wealth through trade, and by the thirteenth century, they were among the most powerful of Sienese merchant families. The family owned a large share of property, both in Siena and throughout the republic, but they were established in Corsignano. In 1385, Siena was embroiled in a conflict between the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor, and the Piccolomoni family were exiled for their support of the papacy. The noble family spent their exile in their country estate. Aeneas Silvius’s father, Silvio, was forced to “live the life of a rural landowner, an important man in an unimportant community” (Mack, 27). His son’s fated papal coronation in 1458 would soon bring new status to the small, rustic town. The narrative of how Pope Pius II and his chosen architect, Bernardo Rossellino, employed humanist design principles to create the “ideal” Renaissance town has overtaken the story of Pienza. The Pope and his building campaign have become lionized within the city’s history and take up the majority of visitors’ imaginations. Yet the ideal city was never truly realized in Pienza. Pius and his architect necessarily worked within the parameters of an existing city, one with its own idiosyncrasies. The restraints imposed on the new design by Corsignano’s existing conditions create a product that is more compelling for its context. The Palazzo Piccolomini, constructed in 1459, was the first building that Pope Pius commissioned in his quest to transform his birthplace, and its very large footprint replaced more than seven buildings and gardens (Mack, 43). It was designed to the aesthetics of an “ideal villa of antiquity,” but when Pius’s nephews inherited the estate, they noted that the property “as everyone knows was done at very great cost without any usefulness” (Mack, 76). The construction of the Cathedral followed shortly thereafter. It is here that the irregularities that accompany the retrofitting of a medievel town to an idealized Renaissance statement become apparent. Between its Gothic tracery windows, hybrid bell tower, and overextended apse, the Cathedral defects from the humanist ideal.

Several circumstances handicapped Rossellino’s work. The physical situation necessitated the abandonment of the conventional east-

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The New Story of Pienza

“The application of the principle of the Renaissance “ideal city” in Pienza, and in particular in the group of buildings around the central square, resulted in a masterpiece of human creative genius.” - Statement of Univeral Value, 2015

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A bird overlooks the Piazza Piccolomini, photo by Katlyn Cotton.


Katlyn Cotton

west orientation, and the lack of adequate space meant that part of the cathedral had to project out over the precipice beyond the old perimeter of the town walls. Rossellino was forced, therefore to support the apse of the church upon an artificial foundation, much as he did the garden of the Piccolomini Palace (Mack, 77.) The square fronting the Cathedral, the Piazza Pio II, similarly exhibits signs of this urban retrofit:

It was impossible to fit a rectangular piazza into this space for several reasons: the street entered and exited the area at differing angles; the old Priors’ Palace was set at an angle of eighty rather than ninety degrees; and the Palazzo Piccolomini had to be placed at a seventyfive-degree angle if it was to remain parallel to the Church of San Francesco and in alignment with the street. The cathedral piazza, thus, quite naturally assumed the shape of a slightly irregular trapezoid (Mack, 101). These inconsistencies are not to the detriment of the Cathedral or the Piazza. Quite the contrary, the inverted trapezoidal shape had a fortunate effect. By creating open space with views to the landscape between the monumental facades of the Cathedral and flanking Palazzos, a human scale — that same scale that Renaissance scholars strove for through paradigmatic formulas — was preserved (Mack, 101). One structure completed during this period speaks to the lives of ordinary citizens of this new “Renaissance” city. This colossal building campaign of course displaced many citizens of the new Pienza. In 1463, Pope Pius commissioned a program of social housing to lodge the dislocated. In the northeast section of town, twelve identical rowhomes were swiftly constructed for this purpose. Other buildings constructed in the city’s center include numerous palaces around the Piazza Pio II and along the Corso Rosselino. With the erection of the Palazzo Vescovile and the Palazzo Comunale, Pope Pius attained his dream of having a piazza “surrounded by four noble buildings.” Many of these palaces on the Corso are richly adorned with sgraffito, an incised or scraped plaster finish. The many decorated facades suggest an ambitious endeavor to upgrade the entire town. “It would have provided a fitting end to an operation that aimed at achieving one of the main aims of Renaissance humanism: spatial unity of the urban area” (Cataldi, 112). As one moves away from the Piazza and central Corso, it becomes evident that such total Renaissance harmony was never achieved in Pienza. The perfect humanist order breaks down toward the city’s edges, and the

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The New Story of Pienza

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“The boundary of the site, defined by its original wall, includes all the essential elements that contribute to the justification of its Outstanding Universal Value. The ensemble created by Pius II has maintained its structural and visual integrity remaining essentially intact in all its components.� - UNESCO, Statement of Universal Value Context, 2008

The city wall. Photo by Mikayla Raymond.


Katlyn Cotton subsequent gradient allows a visual reading of the city’s history before and after these humanist interventions. In the following centuries, Italy was embroiled in the Italian Wars (14941559), a series of conflicts that involved Papal States, French and Spanish invasions, and infighting between Italian city-states, particularly Florence and Siena.

“The sacking of cities, the devastation of the countryside, the drain of manpower and resources to the armies, the imposition of new taxes, and the looting of treasure, all took an inevitable toll. Economic historians have talked of a destruction of the industrial base, of a breakdown of commercial monopolies, and of long-term rural depression and unemployment as consequences of the crisis” (Oxford Dictionary of Italy, 80). Tuscany, however, was under the rule of the Medici, a Florentine banking family, by the late 16th century. During this relatively stable period, economic recovery and growth were prioritized: “the building of port installations, protection for industries, improved roads, land reclamation schemes all figured in the new Medici policies (Oxford Dictionary, 84). The 16th century was characterized by an industrial boom in northern and central Italy, spurred by the production and export of luxury goods such as ceramics, textiles, crystal glass, and leather. (Oxford Dictionary, 115) However, such growth was halted with the commercial crisis of 1619:

As urban production collapsed, from the later seventeenth century rural textile and metalworking activities developed in northern and central Italy, and on a more limited scale in the south. As elsewhere in Europe, they tended to be concentrated in areas of smallholdings, subsistence agriculture, and abundant population (Oxford Dictionary of Italy, 117.) With the death of the last Medici in 1737, Tuscany was overtaken by the Austrian Habsburgs, joining the rest of Italy as a “passive object of international politics.” This conjures yet another narrative thread that lurks just below the surface of the traditional Renaissance story - that of conflict. The Val d’Orcia is more than a beautiful landscape that inspired centuries of painters and designers--it is also a stage across which violence and discord have roamed. Reminders of World War II are left upon the outer walls of the Cathedral. Pienza was not untouched by the conflict that wracked all of Europe, and the physical form of the city would forever be altered. On June 15th, 1944 a bomb aimed for a large manor house just outside the city wall--the

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The New Story of Pienza

“The Val D’Orcia is an exceptional reflection of the way the landscape was rewritten in a pre-Rennaissance times to reflect the ideals of good governance and to create an aesthetically pleasing picture, celebrated by painters from the Siennese School. The Val D’Orcia has come to be seen as an icon of the landscape, which has profoundly influenced the development of landscape thinking.” - UNESCO World Heritage Listing “Last night the first bombs fell in the Val D’Orcia. As we were sitting in the garden after dinner, we heard planes approaching and then saw their lights, between us and Mount Amiata. There were three distinct booms, and then we saw a fire on the mountain, above Campiglia, which smouldered for about half an hour before it died out.” - Iris Origo, War in the Val D’Orcia

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The Val d’Orcia, photo by Katlyn Cotton.


Katlyn Cotton location of the Nazi headquarters in Pienza--missed its target. The bombs struck the city, damaging the Porta al Murello and other structures just inside the wall. Today, post-war new constructions take the place of these damaged buildings and are easily recognizable due to their modern brick and sharp, clean lines. This is conflict in the acute sense. Yet conflict also exists in the Val d’Orcia in a more pervasive sense--that of rural poverty. Iris Origo wrote of the plight of rural tenant farmers in the Val d’Orcia and her somewhat perplexing and paternalistic desire to uplift the region by residing there. Beyond the pleasing aesthetics of the landscape is a vastly unequal distribution of wealth and resources. The Mezzadria system, a form of Italian sharecropping, remained institutionalized until the 1970s. The practice is deeply rooted in the history of the Val d’Orcia, dating back to a system of fuedalism in the Middle Ages. Thus, the same subversive narrative thread can be pulled between Pius’s noble family and the wealthy Origo family. Over the 19th and 20th centuries, the city expanded beyond its medieval foodprint. The automobile came to Pienza, arguably dramatically altering the way that visitors and residences experience the city. By the mid-20th century, the northern portion of the wall was largely removed, making the Centro more penetrable to vehicular traffic. A suburban urban landscape grew out north of the old city, creating a familiar form of sprawl. Today automobiles and questions of integrity at the Centro’s edges are the most vexing for city officials. With its World Heritage Listing in 1996 came new challenges related to tourism management and infrastructure and the question still being asked today: how to tell the story of Pienza. The new story of Pienza concludes with the present--if such as story can have an ending. Today, Pienza is a living city with caring residents, a rich culinary culture, and large hopes for the future. The next chapter of Pienza’s story will be an exciting account of thoughtful development and positive change. As the city takes advantage of development opportunities posed by two large industrial sites to the north, the story only goes on.

Works Cited: Cataldi, Giancarldo and Fausto Formichi, Pienza Forma Urbis. Pienza: Aion Edizioni, 2007. Keller, Werner, The Etruscans. [1st American ed.] New York: Knopf; [Distributed by Random House], 1974. Mack, Charles R., Pienza: The Creation of a Renaissance City. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1987. Pierini, Marco, Guide to the town and surroundings: Corsignano, Spedaletto, Monticchiello, Sant’Anna in Camprena. Siena: Nuova Immagine Editrice, 1999.

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Proposals | Carolyn Zemanian

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PUBLIC HISTORY INTERPRETATION: PODCASTS


The dominant narrative of Pienza –

Pienza, as aids to walking tours, and would be advertised and supplemented the picture-perfect Renaissance City with special maps available in the – shouldn’t obscure the other stories tourist information centers. People waiting to be told. The city has been could also listen and learn about the continuously occupied since the 8th city’s history online. Podcasts could century, and its urban fabric bears take a variety of forms: short vignettes the layers, marks, and telltale signs about specific buildings or incidents of myriad other human triumphs and struggles. Signs, written in Italian, and a in the city’s history, longer histories few interpreted historic monuments are about broad themes affecting the city’s currently the only form of public history development, and regional or national in this UNESCO World Heritage site. To histories that inform the evolution of Pienza. The sample we created focuses better engage the past more robustly on the World War II-related stories and provide a more fulfilling visitor and evidence in Pienza – a period experience, Pienza should expand and that made a profound if subtle impact modernize its current interpretation on the town. The following pages scheme. excerpt the script, which has also been provided as an English-language audio We propose a wholly contemporary, file. less invasive—in fact, invisible— interpretation campaign that would make Pienza’s history accessible not only to visitors, but also to virtual tourists. Podcasts, downloaded onto smartphones, can illuminate the unexplored stories of Pienza’s society and architecture. These podcasts could immediately be used by tourists in

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Public History Interpretation: Podcasts

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Top: Stops on the Tour of Pienza’s WWII History, by Carolyn Zemanian. Bottom: Piazza Galletti. Photo by Katlyn Cotton.


Carolyn Zemanian A Tour of Pienza’s World War II History STOP 1: The Former German Headquarters This unit discusses damage to the city of Pienza during WWII. If you are doing the walking tour, please consult your map and proceed to Stop 1, the former brigade headquarters of the German army.

It’s June 15, 1944. For days the sounds of gunfire and bombs have echoed through the Val D’Orcia. Since the Allied forces landed in Sicily eleven months before, they have been steadily working their way north toward the Gothic Line. Pienza, a small walled city in the Val D’Orcia in Tuscany, had not been a major focus of the advancing forces, who have focused mainly on cities and rail lines in an attempt to drive out the Nazi occupiers. At the edge of the Piazza Dante Alighieri, just outside the city walls, a large manor house acts as the Nazi headquarters in Pienza. Around 4 p.m., planes drone in the sky. They swoop low and launch a bomb toward this house. They miss. The bomb hits the city. STOP 2: Porta al Prato If you walking through Pienza, please move now to Stop 2, just inside the city’s east entrance.

The open space to the left of the entrance, and the unusual, L-shaped brick mid-century building, mark the site of the bomb’s devastation. The strike took down several buildings in this location, leaving a pile of rubble, and killing 22 people. A plaque on the medieval wall remembers the victims of this tragedy, as well as notes another heartrending wartime incident. On September 24, 1944—three months after Pienza’s liberation from Nazi forces—four schoolchildren, playing a game outdoors, died after encountering unexploded ordnance. A good way to identify where bomb damage occurred during the June 15, 1944 attacks is to look for evidence of brick on buildings and on the city walls. Modern brick is highly visible in this medieval and Renaissance city of stucco and travertine. Keep an eye out as you proceed through this tour, and during the remainder of your stay in Pienza.

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Public History Interpretation: Podcasts

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Report from Inspection of Pienza, Monuments and Fine Arts Division.


Carolyn Zemanian STOP 3: Piazza Galletti If you are walking through Pienza, please proceed to Stop 3, the Piazza Galetti.

Piazza Galletti, not far from the entrance gate, also suffered significant damage during the June 15 bombings. A dozen houses were either completely destroyed, or damaged enough that they were later demolished. Post WWII reconstructions today surround this piazza, evidenced by modern brick and garage openings. The current, open form is new. Standing in the center of the plaza, you can turn in a circle and imagine the severity of damage necessary to clear such a large space. If you are walking through Pienza, please begin walking to Stop 4, the Church of San Francesco. If the church is open, feel free to head inside. Damage to the buildings on the Piazza Pio II is well documented in historic papers. Several members of the so-called Monuments Men— representatives of the army’s Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives section, or MFAA—descended on Pienza in July of 1944, seeking to document damage to—and protect—the Renaissance architectural treasures of this city. Deane Keller, an American professor from Yale specializing in art and art restoration was responsible for assessing damage to Pienza’s cultural treasures. Keller was a specialist in frescos, and is most well known for saving the fire-scorched frescos at the gothic burial structure, Campo Santo, in Pisa, Italy. Keller was also part of a smaller contingent of Monuments Men who remained in Europe for a year after the war, tracking down and returning cultural artifacts that had been stolen by the Nazis.

Sources: Bergson, Carol. “L’avventura grande: May Day in Pienza.” May 7, 2015. Blogpost. http://l-avventuragrande.blogspot.com/2015/05/mayday-in-pienza.html. Captain Deane Keller to SCAO, 5th Army, July 11, 1944. Memo. Comune di Pienza. Wall plaque. Erected 2011. “Gozzante.” Comune di Pienza. Signpost. Translated from Italian to English using Google Translate. Jennings, Christian. At War on the Gothic Line: Fighting in Italy, 1944-1945. 1st ed. New York: Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, 2016. Lt. Frederick Hartt to SCAO, AMG, 5th Army, July 16, 1944. Memo. Mack, Charles R. Pienza: The Creation of a Renaissance City, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1987. Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, “The Monuments Men,” The Monuments Men Foundation, 2017. Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, “The Monuments Men: Deane Keller (1901-1992),” The Monuments Men Foundation, 2017. Origo, Iris. War in Val D’Orcia, 1943-1944, a diary. Boston: DR Godine, 1984.

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Proposals | Arielle Harris

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DESIGN GUIDELINES


“Has it occurred to you to look at horizontal surfaces? Because paving is just as important as walls in a city like this. There are so many different patterns, and how do you protect those?” - Raffaella Fabiani Giannetto

There are currently mechanisms in

place — such as Italian regulations and management structures required by the city’s UNESCO World Heritage listing — that ensure a large degree of protection from intolerable change in Pienza. Yet upon surveying the town, the students found the primary threat to the city’s integrity to be more insidious than large interventions. It was the many small losses — small but unsympathetic additions, inappropriate replacement materials, and the general loss of culturally significant fabric. Taken to the city scale, these many minor intrusions and additions collectively diminish the integrity of the whole. These design guidelines purposefully take a fresh look at the priority targets for regulation. They address the need for a holistic approach that mitigates the cumulative effect of many pervasive

disruptions in the city’s fabric. The next few pages feature samples of the standards and recommendations from these guidelines.

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Design Guidelines

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Left: Palazzo Salomone Piccolomini, image from Creation of a Renaissance City, Charles Mack. Right: Palazzo Salomone Piccolomini, photo by Katlyn Cotton.


Arielle Harris

Existing Buildings: Masonry, Stucco, and Sgraffito One of the most special elements of Pienza’s architectural heritage is the evidence of change over time in the city’s historic buildings. As such, it is typical that a medieval era building have multiple surface building materials, including stone, brick, and stucco. Over time, some buildings have accumulated insensitive facade patching and treatments, but most are of medium to high integrity. Masonry Some problems in masonry buildings that may be visible over time in Pienza include: • • • • • • •

Disintegration of mortar, leading to open mortar joints, cracks in mortar, or mortar bonds broken or pulled away from masonry Loose bricks and stones Delaminating or surface erosion of bricks or stones Pitted surfaces from sandblasting and abrasive cleaning Damp walls, sometimes with growth of moss or algae, and more commonly evident through efflorescence, which is typically visible as a white powdery substance on the wall surface Damaged interior plaster or finishes Rot of wood framing along masonry walls

Prior to beginning work, existing conditions should be photographed and measured. If historic masonry will be reused, stones should be properly catalogued and cleaned so they can be placed in their original location. In addition, the wall surface should be cleaned using gentle methods appropriate for the surface conditions. Vegetation and moss should also be removed at this time.

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Design Guidelines

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Postwar Structure on Piazza Galleti, photo by Katlyn Cotton.


Arielle Harris Guidelines for New Construction These guidelines for new construction generally apply to those areas within the Centro and the surrounding city of Pienza. Two types of construction could occur here: infill and brand new development on vacant land. Size and Scale Since Pienza has a regular rhythm of roof heights and window openings, new construction should reflect the dominant cornice and roof heights of adjacent buildings, and the proportions of buildings to one another and to the streetscape. Proportions New construction should relate to the dominant proportions of the streetscape. Form & Massing • New buildings should have similar form and massing to buildings on adjacent sites. • Construct roof forms, wings, ells and bays and other projecting elements that are similar to those found on the block of a proposed building. • Match neighboring cornice heights, i.e., gables should be oriented in the same direction. Orientation Orient the principal façade and door parallel with the primary thoroughfare. Rhythm and Patterns • Align a new building façade with the façades of existing neighboring buildings, typically along the sidewalk edge. • Align the roof ridge, balcony, gallery, porch, roof overhang, cornice, eave and parapet with those found on existing neighboring buildings. • Construct a new building that has a similar width and side yard, if applicable, relative to neighboring buildings. Window and Door Openings • Both infill and new construction should have façade height and width proportions similar to existing adjacent properties. • Infill: Use similar proportions, sizes, locations and numbers of windows and doors as neighboring sites • New construction: Install stylistically compatible windows and doors at new construction with those found on existing neighboring buildings Materials and Textures Use exterior materials that are present in adjacent neighboring historic buildings in new construction. In Pienza, this includes stone, brick, and stucco.

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Proposals | Joel Naiman, Evan Schueckler, Mikayla Raymond

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ADAPTING THE FORNACI


“You were proposing very ambitious projects, and because they were so ambitious, it is really essential to couch that in the context of the regional economic conditions.” - Di Gao

The Fornaci, derelict manufactories

of clay building product and their surrounding landscape, represent the industrial history of Pienza. For decades, these sites produced the roof tiles and bricks that reconstructed and adorned Pienza’s buildings in the postwar period. Located on the northern margins of the town, alongside main road entry, both sites have the ruined remains of multiple postwar buildings (of little heritage value) as well as fairly extensive and heavily disturbed landscape settings. Today, their redevelopment presents an opportunity to repurpose these obsolete sites to attract investment and new industry to Pienza. Our project created conceptual frameworks for the activation and appropriate development of each of the Fornaci sites. In their proposals, the students respond to the expressed needs and desires of the city’s leaders, as well as the history

of the cultural landscape, and the development potentials and drawbacks of the sites. The framework strategies described immediately below are meant to set the stage for the very specific, beautifully illustrated proposals made by the landscape architecture students in the final sections of the book. The west fornace site, comprised of three steel frame bays and a disturbed landscape, will become a site to leverage private investment while simultaneously creating meaningful experiences that share the story of Pienza’s industrial past. The east fornace site, which features a long linear building and scattered skeletal steel frames, will become a site for arts-and-culture related development. The insertion of these two forms of development—income-producing and public use—creates an overall balanced and sustainable approach to

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Adapting the Fornaci

Structure at the West Fornace, Evan Schueckler 104

Low Density Development Senior Housing Development Mixed Use Development Parking Service Area Public Space Wellness Hotel and Spa Shuttlebus Roundabout

West Fornace Development Scheme.


Joel Naiman, Evan Schueckler, and Mikayla Raymond

new industry in a historic setting. The students determined that because these sites had been so heavily disrupted in the past, they could now tolerate greater manipulation in order to accommodate new uses. West Fornace Development Scheme The scheme for the west fornace strikes a fine balance between achieving a dense, new-urbanist community node with cutting edge mixed-use senior housing and a retail project as well as , emphasizing the industrial landscape, and creating a new high-end wellness hotel & spa with numerous amenities. The entire site will utilize geothermal technology, and an array of combination of green roofs, and solar panels and other ecologically supportive infrastructure and design strategies in order to create a carbon- neutral project. The site’s architecture would recall a Modern Italian villa, utilizing modern forms with materials, with massing and landscape elements that defer to the integrity of the Tuscan countryside landscape. An underlying principle in the creation of this development strategy is the desire to attract and sustain a residential population, and thus a portion of the site will be dedicated for high-end senior housing. This site will take on an new urban image with design alluding in some manner to Pienza’s Renaissance planning history. The structures would be substantially new construction but may incorporate some existing site elements. It will be representative of the idea of “The Modern Villa.” While these buildings should not replicate historic structures around the Tuscan countryside, they should bear a modern sympathetic resemblance. The structures must maintain a massing no greater than three stories and need to incorporate parking, though parking lots need be designed in a sensitive manner so as to avoid detracting from the integrity of the Tuscan landscape. On the northeast portion of the site, there will be lower density development that could shade in to a reforested area. The shell of the existing, three- bayed structure could possibly be reused as a health and wellness spa. The market for such resorts seems proven (they appear to be abundant in Tuscany), and the serene landscape surrounding the site provides a strong amenity is marketable. To accompany the hotel/spa and the residential portion of the development, the plan includes a section of retail and restaurants. Storefronts may be of mixed use with residential on the upper stories should design permit. Restaurants should have an outdoor seating in courtyards or under arbors, with sections opening to views of the landscape.

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Adapting the Fornaci

Headhouse at the East Fornace, photo by Evan Schueckler.

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New Connection to Clay Works Visitor Welcome Center Visitor Parking Shuttle Bus Roundabout Marketplace Performing Arts Venue Outdoor Artists Spaces New Artists Residences Artists Gardens Open Air Amphitheater Refurbished Landscape East Fornace Development Scheme


Joel Naiman, Evan Schueckler, and Mikayla Raymond

East Fornace Development Scheme The scheme for the eastern fornace injects new cultural activity into Pienza. The proposal reimagines the site as a welcome center for visitors to Pienza – taking advantage of its prominent location on the entry road from the north – , as well as a contemporary cultural space that builds on the craft, production and creative history of the region. These new cultural and welcoming/tourism functions allow the eastern fornace to serve as a launching and landing pad that orients new visitors to the city and its history, opening up new avenues for interpretation through contemporary arts and trades. The repurposing of part of the site for a new welcome visitor’s center serves a dual purpose of concentrating critical tourist infrastructure, such as parking, restrooms, and guest services, away from the historic core. The sculptural quality of the extant skeletal steel frames – seeming to float ining on the landscape -- inspired another method of site activation: an outdoor exhibition space for artists. This function could be is enriched by an artist-inresidence program or university partnerships that bring talented individuals to the city to live, study, and practice. This use invigorates Pienza’s and Tuscany’s long history of artistic excellence with modern life. The extant buildings of the eastern fornace are more intact than those on the western site, so there is apparently greater potential for reuse at a smaller cost. The very long and linear east fornace building could serve as an indoor market place—a “corso” where artists and makers sell the products of their work. Yet the scheme also imagines the east fornace as a site that can accommodate flexibility in space and function. This site, with its open landscape and clear views toward of the city Centro, could easily and immediately accommodate temporary outdoor use for open-air festivals and events. Later phases of the framework plan allow for the construction of a performing arts venue and a permanent outdoor amphitheater. These physical changes support a programmatic scheme that infuses the broader region with new activity— concerts, art bazaars, food festivals, exhibitions, and theater.

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Proposals | Ty Richardson

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REDESIGNING PIAZZA DANTE ALIGHIERI


Piazza Dante Alighieri, photo by Ty Richardson.

From the beginning of our project in

Pienza, the transformation of Piazza Dante Alighieri has been among the priority considerations. Positioned between the historic Centro and the 20th-century town, Piazza Dante Alighieri occupies an important strategic location – a hinge or connector, the threshold to the Centro – and presents one of Pienza’s best opportunities for improving public space. Its current design and function could and should perform at a much higher level. Later in this book, several of the landscape architecture students present new, visionary schemes for remaking Piazza Dante Alighieri as a

contemporary public space. In terms of conservation, our supportive analysis is meant to underpin these designs. The conservation question regarding the piazza is how to sort the features and functions warranting protection as the entire space is subject to transformative thinking. How might the re-designs be grounded in ways appropriate to the historic character of this edge of the town? Applying cultural landscape preservation concepts, it became clear that the focus should be on retaining certain historical processes and spatial relationships, but little of the fabric itself. Deep historical analysis of the piazza

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Redesigning The Piazza Dante Alighieri

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Top: Historical photo of Piazza Dante Alighieri, Fotografia Fusai. Bottom: Piazza Dante Alighieri Today, photo by Ty Richardson.


Ty Richardson

was unattainable with the archives at hand; analysis and observation of existing conditions (and the valuable historic photograph displayed here) suggested the conservation of uses (passive recreation, pedestrian circulation through the piazza, visibility/ framing of the west gate of the Centro) but few constraints on change in landscape materials. The evidence comprised by the historic photo established that the form (and likely some of the uses, like grazing) have changed dramatically over time – certainly in the past century. Therefore, designers would find a great deal of tolerance for change to the existing fabric. Though considerations of road and pedestrian circulation, visual

connections between the Centro/wall/ gates and surrounding fabric, and the continuing care of the monuments currently placed in the Piazza, are abiding issues in any new vision for this space.

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Landscape Design | Introduction by Laurie Olin

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PRACTICING THE ART OF ENSEMBLE: LANDSCAPE PROPOSALS PRATICA L’ARTE DI ENSEMBLE: PROPOSTE DI PAESAGGIO


Section of redesign of northen edge of Centro Pienza, work by Albert Chen.

For all the attractiveness and charm Per tutta l’attrattiva ed il fascino di of Pienza and the surrounding territory of the Val d’Orcia, there are many design and planning issues that need to be addressed. Officials in Pienza have identified a number of topics involving buildings, spaces, and portions of the landscape that offer the opportunity or need for change that could improve the economy and the character of town and setting. Each necessitates working within a sensitive environment, one rich in historic fabric and meaning. They require imagination and sensibility plus a mixture of boldness and adventurousness mixed with subtlety and care. Such projects offer superb design and planning challenges. Despite its successful Etruscan beginnings and the historic architecture

Pienza e del territorio circostante della Val D’Orcia, ci sono molte questioni di progettazione e pianificazione che devono essere affrontate. Le autorità di Pienza hanno individuato una serie di temi che coinvolgono edifici, spazi e porzioni del paesaggio che offrono l’opportunità o la necessità di cambiamenti che potrebbero migliorare l’economia e il carattere della città e dell’ambiente. Ciascuna necessita l‘aver a che fare con un ambiente sensibile, formato da un tessuto ricco di storia e significato. Richiedono immaginazione e sensibilità oltre ad una miscela di audacia e spirito avventuroso, mischiato con sottigliezza e cura. Tali progetti offrono enormi sfide di pianificazione e progettazione.

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Landscape Design | Introduction by Laurie Olin and town planning of Alberti’s protégé, Rosselino ---- who stunned Florentines, first with his innovative design for the Palazzo Rucellai, and then with the utopian civic ensemble of Pienza ---- several layers of history and problems have been added to this seemingly untouched community. A post-World War II addition of two brick and tile works on the edge of town, now abandoned, and the quantity of automobiles and busses that descend upon Pienza in the summer season are more than merely irritating, but are harmful. Today the municipal government and citizens desire solutions to these problems.

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Additionally they have expressed a desire for the redesign of the western approach and entry to the town. There are also larger regional issues involving a number of routes beginning in Pienza. These offer the opportunity to create

Nonostante le sue origini etrusche e l’architettura storica e la pianificazione urbanistica dell’allievo dell’Alberti, Rosselino, che aveva stupito i fiorentini prima con il suo innovativo progetto per Palazzo Rucellai e poi con l’utopico insieme urbanistico di Pienza, diversi strati di storia e di problematiche si sono accumulati su questa comunità a prima vista immacolata. Un’aggiunta post-bellica di due opere di mattoni e piastrelle alla periferia della città, ora abbandonata, e la quantità di automobili e autobus che invadono Pienza nella stagione estiva sono più che altro irritanti, ma non nocivi. Oggi il governo municipale e i cittadini desiderano soluzioni a questi problemi. Inoltre hanno espresso il desiderio di ridisegnare la via di arrivo e l’ingresso occidentale nella città. Ci sono anche grandi problematiche regionali che

Scene on the percorso in Pienza, photo by Albert Chen.


bike and hike trails through the valley and its diverse features, whether for agro-tourism, art and archaeological interpretation, ecological study, or recreational biking. Many of these are currently unpleasant and dangerously accommodated, almost exclusively on narrow automobile routes. Finally, a group of landowners is considering the possibility of developing a more comprehensive landscape management plan for portions of the territory in and around Pienza, responsive to their needs, and issues such as increasingly damaging floods. Topics such as improved regional transportation and energy production, as well as recent immigration from Africa, earthquake victims, and preparedness for the potential of another disastrous earthquake also need consideration. Such important topics were beyond the scope of this studio, but would certainly merit equal study in a subsequent venture. Penn Landscape Architecture students, informed by the work of the Historic Preservation students, as well as their own research and observations in Pienza, performed a set of exercises, studies and proposals for the areas and problems presented by the city. The first of these were fast-paced sketch schemes done in a week or two prior to visiting Italy. These were followed by a more lengthy design project informed by their intense and highly informative visit. What follows are excerpts and highlights from this work. Because landscape architecture is an art not a science, a major consideration of the pedagogy and work on the part

coinvolgono le numerose strade che partono da Pienza e che offrono l’opportunità di creare percorsi in bicicletta ed escursioni attraverso la valle e le sue diverse caratteristiche, adatti sia per il turismo agro-alimentare, sia per l’arte ed i rilievi archeologici, sia per lo studio ecologico, o semplicemente per ciclismo ricreativo, molti dei quali attualmente sgradevoli o pericolosi, quasi esclusivamente su strade strette ed aperte al traffico. Infine, un gruppo di proprietari terrieri sta prendendo in considerazione la possibilità di sviluppare un piano di gestione del paesaggio più completo per le parti del territorio in ed intorno Pienza in risposta alle loro esigenze e a questioni come le inondazioni sempre più dannose. Intervengono anche temi come migliorare il trasporto regionale e la produzione di energia, nonché la recente immigrazione proveniente dall’Africa, le vittime del terremoto e la preparazione ad un potenziale nuovo disastroso terremoto più vicino a casa di quelli recenti negli appennini orientali. Tali importanti questioni andavano oltre lo scopo del corso, ma meritano senza dubbio ulteriori approfondimenti. Gli studenti di Architettura Paesaggista dell’Università della Pennsylvania, formati dall’opera degli studenti di Conservazione Storica, nonché dalle proprie ricerche e osservazioni a Pienza hanno formulato una serie di ipotesi, studi e proposte per le aree ed i problemi presentati dalla città. Per primi rapidi schizzi fatti in una settimana o due antecedente la visita dell’Italia. Questi sono stati seguiti da una fase di progettazione più lunga, plasmata dalla loro visita, intensa e

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Landscape Design | Introduction by Laurie Olin of the students in addressing the problems of the studio is a deep and abiding concern with art and craft, spirit and expression, pleasure and delight. Instrumentality, economy, and function, are to be assumed, and were, therefore one of the goals of the studio. The students were also to strive for appropriate graphic and visual means to make their ideas and proposals clear without resorting to lengthy verbal explanations, to communicate the nature of their concepts and the physical means of expression for their realization ---- the materials and character of their proposed additions to the city of Pienza.

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molto formativa. Quello che segue sono estratti e passi salienti tratti da questo lavoro. Poiché l’architettura paesaggistica è un’arte e non una scienza, una considerazione importante della pedagogia e del lavoro degli studenti per affrontare i problemi del corso è una consonanza profonda e attenta con l’arte e l’artigianato, lo spirito e l’espressione, il piacere e il diletto. La funzione e l’economia devono dunque, e lo sono state, prese in considerazione come uno degli obiettivi del corso. Gli studenti dovevano anche adoperarsi con i mezzi grafici e visivi appropriati a rendere chiare le loro idee e le loro proposte senza ricorrere a lunghe spiegazioni verbali, in modo da comunicare il cuore dei loro concetti ed i mezzi pratici per la loro realizzazione - i materiali ed il carattere delle loro proposte di modifica alla città di Pienza.


East fornace in Pienza, photo by Albert Chen.

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Landscape Design | Fast-paced Design Studies

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FAST-PACED DESIGN STUDIES


Site plan of redesign of Piazza Dante Alighieri, work by Moya Sun.

This studio’s initial design challenge

concerns of the people of Pienza, through larger scale open space design required students to consider scale, studies. These fast-paced studies were materiality, site, program, and local completed in just two days and were history, through a very short and presented in a pin-up. Each student intense sketch problem. Students worked individually to develop a design were asked to imagine a hypothetical scenario, and to develop a fully resolved proposal. on-site intervention for presentation. The studio’s second design challenge focused on two areas immediately outside of the town of Pienza ---- the abandoned brickworks (i fornaci) and Piazza Dante Alighieri ---- both of which have been identified by Pienza’s Commissioner of Culture and others as areas that are in need of substantial redesign. Having already explored scale, materiality, and program through the hypothetical “Archeological Field Station” sketch problem, students were then asked to address the real pressing

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Landscape Design | Fast-paced Design Studies

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Top: Section of archaelogical museum, work by Le (Cindy) Xu. Bottom: View of botanical garden, work by Zhengneng (Albert) Chen.


PROPOSAL_CONTINUITY WITH SURROUNDINGS

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Top: Strategic planning of the edge of Centro di Pienza, work by Chen Hu. Bottom: View of the Piazza Dante Alighieri, work by Jingshi Diao.


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Landscape Design | Proposals

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PROPOSALS

Each of the projects outlined below were

based on discussions between Professors Olin and Mason and representatives of the town of Pienza, including the mayor, the commissioner of culture and local architects and historians. Fornaci, site i and ii: The commune di Pienza has suggested in their comprehensive plan that the abandoned brick/tileworks buildings be removed and that this area be incorporated into a new park (zona verde) that surrounds the developed area, especially leading up to and embracing the historic town (city). It is also to somehow be connected to or assist in the realization of the proposed hike and bike trails (iii percorsi). Percorsi, site iii: The percorsi are envisioned as walks/trails for experiencing town-landscape transitions, which are aesthetically striking and a great interpretive of tourist opportunity. Plans for the general


Fornace i Fornace ii

Percorsi

layout are suggested in the current urban plan for Pienza and include: connecting to the central piazza, tracing the walls, connecting to extra-mural heritage sites (Pieve di Corsignano, the Romanesque church where Pio was baptized; a Neolithic archaeological site; a small medieval well; etc.), traversing the countryside as far as the furnace (see “Fornaci�, below). This project may include one extensive percorso with several parts, or several percorsi. Challenges that the town will face in planning the percorsi will include issues with some private landowners providing access, wayfinding, engaging the wall and varying terrain. Piazza Dante Alighieri, site iv: Why is it named for the famous Florentine Poet? Do people think it is a hellish place? Or is it a stopover on the way to Paradise? In its current form the mayor, commissioner of culture and various

Piazza Dante Alighieri

citizens seem to think that it is in real need of transformation. Why do they think this? What are the things about it that can, should, or must be changed? Clearly this place has vehicular functions that have to do with busses, local and tourist traffic. It is also clearly a gateway of some sort between the historic town of Pope Pius II and the 18th through 20th century expansion (can it be called a suburb?) There are design questions to answer: What is the proper area of study and intervention? What is needed? What, although not needed, if invented, added, or subtracted, would make this a worthy addition to a town of such artistic and historic heritage? Students made a new design for this place.

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Fornaci, Site i | Le (Cindy) Xu

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CASA DI RIPOSO: HEALING PIENZA


“An empathetic, terrific project, stunning drawings.” - Sue Weiler

“The definition between the wild passive and active healing ideas are really good.” - Michael Van Valkenburgh

“The balance of the things on site versus the new constructions might need more information to substantiate the decision.” - Janelle Johnson

This project begins by looking at

certain perceived challenges faced by Pienza: the town relies heavily on a single industry (tourism); it has an aging population without sufficient medical facilities; and there are not enough high-quality jobs to attract young people and families. A vacant industrial site sits just outside of the northern entrance to the historical town, giving tourists a negative arrival impression. The idea of this project is to rebuild the industrial site to be a high-quality rest home and proposes Pienza as the next rest home destination. This could become a new industry, create high value jobs, bring quality of life benefits to local people, and create better connections between the historical town and its periphery.

landscape design is to encourage people with varying levels of mental and physical capabilities to better engage with nature and the healing process. The site is divided into three main parts: wild healing; passive healing; and active healing zones. Native plants are introduced to create different ecological zones and have high educational and aesthetic values. The healing Pienza project has considerable ecological value. It is a healing landscape not only for personal and physical health but also environmental restoration. It has educational functions and helps to build a better life for the community.

Based on Rudolf Steiner’s “Twelve Senses” theory, the idea of this Type of involvement depending on the individual’s mental power. Modification of Grahn’s model (Ottosson & Grahn, 1998). Stigsdotter, U., & Grahn, P. (2002). What makes a garden a healing garden. Journal of therapeutic Horticulture, 13(2), 60-69. Steiner, Rudolf (1996). The foundations of human experience (Vol. 1). SteinerBooks.

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Casa di Riposo: Healing Pienza

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Issues of Pienza.


Le (Cindy) Xu

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Site selection & opportunity.


Casa di Riposo: Healing Pienza

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Twelve senses theory. Steiner, Rudolf (1996). The foundations of human experience (Vol. 1). SteinerBooks.


Le (Cindy) Xu

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Casa di Riposo: Healing Pienza

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Site plan.


Le (Cindy) Xu

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Casa di Riposo: Healing Pienza

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Active healing: aerial view and section.


Le (Cindy) Xu

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Active healing: amphitheatre and active play area.


Casa di Riposo: Healing Pienza

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Active healing: aerial view.


Le (Cindy) Xu

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Casa di Riposo: Healing Pienza

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Active healing: section.


Le (Cindy) Xu

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Active healing: woods walk.


Casa di Riposo: Healing Pienza

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Active healing: section.


Le (Cindy) Xu

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Fornaci, Site i | Karli Scott

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CULTIVATING PRODUCTIVITY


“I appreciate the investigation in sculpture, art and the productive landscape. The circulation and topography could have been integrated.” - Sue Weiler

“These three elements within the park might have their own identities, right now they are all layers of palimpsest, I feel there is a lack of understanding between the layers.” - Raffaella Fabiani Giannetto

This project is about taking an

This design recognizes Pienza’s abandoned, decaying brick factory and agricultural heritage and utilizes new turning it into a creatively productive and old species to stabilize its steep place again. Pienza wishes to have an slopes and create organized spaces. artist residency program, but is not sure Special landscape features include how to operate it. This site is currently the lemon courtyards, parkable olive an eyesore and a safety hazard with groves, almond hills and ovals, a cork its collapsing structures. My proposal oak allée, and lavender fields. is to renovate the industrial structure to become live-work artist studios and exhibition space. Artists can either be permanent residents, or temporary guests of the city, making bodies of work to be on display inside the gallery or outside in the park.

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Cultivating Productivity

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View: mature oak allÊe looking towards Pienza’s Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta.


Karli Scott

“This is a fabulous project put with a frankly Renaissant gesture. The designer has acknowledged all the idiosyncrasies of the artifacts on the site … connected to the landscape.” - Randy Mason

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Cultivating Productivity

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Top: view throughe industrial relic to the cafĂŠ and studios. Bottom: arrival court of the new art center of Pienza.


Karli Scott

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Top: view of pedestrian bridge across clay pit. Bottom: view from studio space.


Cultivating Productivity

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Karli Scott

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Cultivating Productivity

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Top: aerial view. Bottom: section through studio space.


Karli Scott

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Top: parkable olive orchard and lavender fields at studio entracnes.


Cultivating Productivity

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Top: industrial relics and lemon courtyards. Bottom: back building elevation and front building elevation.


Karli Scott

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Top: almond oval and oak allĂŠe.


Fornaci, Site i | Yuzhou (Joe) Shao

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PECORINO INTENSIVE


“A very tasteful version of this site. An interesting idea of landscape representation with landscape as a medium of regional narrative.” - Laurie Olin

Pienza is famous among tourists as

the “Touchstone of the Renaissance.” Tourists typically head directly to the historical core when they visit the city. Often, they spend part of a day there and then leave. There are many other valuable resources around Pienza, which are often overlooked due to the lack of a trail system. This proposal aims to let people get out of the city and use a trail system to activate those places so that visitors can spend one or two days in Pienza, benefiting the town’s economy. The site is the fornace to the north of Pienza. My proposal is to make this place a second destination for tourists in order to draw visitors out of the city. The site will serve as the head of a trail system and provide a bike-sharing hub. Pienza is also famous for the great sheep’s milk cheese. Pienza is regarded by some as the capital of pecorino, a hard cheese made from the ewe’s milk. But there is not a centralized place to celebrate cheese culture and let people know why the cheese is so great. There are five local farms that produce pecorino, but they are relatively far away from the city. I think the city should invest in a visitor center at this location to connect those five farms to a market, a community kitchen, and sheep pasture and to help

promote the local pecorino industry. Once visitors are introduced to these products, they can tour of the farms. Instead of proposing a huge visitors’ center, I would rather make this place a small village ---- a miniature version of the great landscape in the Val d’Orcia. The common images of the Val d’Orcia landscape always include four elements: mound, farm house, rows of crops, and cypress trees. This project plays with these four elements and remixes them to create a new landscape. The amphitheater is a combination of theater and sheep pen, providing a place for people to have close contact with the sheep. Small buildings provide public seating areas for people to sit down and feel the place and to frame views of the valley.

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Pecorino Intensive

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Site mapping.


Yuzhou (Joe) Shao

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View analysis and program diagram.


Pecorino Intensive

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Site plan.


Yuzhou (Joe) Shao

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Tuscany elements and Tuscany remix.


Pecorino Intensive

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Top: Pavilion section. Bottom: Amphitheatre section


Yuzhou (Joe) Shao

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Site sections.


Pecorino Intensive

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View: amphitheatre.


Yuzhou (Joe) Shao

“The designer is making some activities fundamental to the region, natural and authentic, but so well managed.� - David Hollenberg

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View: hilltop community kitchen.


Pecorino Intensive

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View: cafe.


Yuzhou (Joe) Shao

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Fornaci, Site i | Jinah Kim

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FLOWS OF PIENZA


“The project shows beautifully and successfully how the bike culture and the ecological concerns guide the design.” - Terry Guen

Pienza has been selected as part of a

The ruined furnace on the beautiful rolling route on the Strade Bianche, a road bicycle hills has not been utilized, even though it has the perfect view of Pienza. Between race in Tuscany, that begins and ends in the site and the center of Pienza, there are Siena. It has been held annually since problems of poor drainage, and steep slopes 2007, on the first or second Saturday of which make the site less accessible. The March. The name Strade Bianche (White proposed bike path is designed based on Streets) stems from the historic white water flows and provides different types gravel roads that are a defining feature of of experiences relating to surface water. the race. The paths function as a tool for managing water, reshaping the landscape form, and Around Pienza, there are four bird enhancing the forest area to create a bird hotspots (Siena, Foiano Della Chana, Riserva Natural Basso Merse, and Lago Di hotspot. Montepulciano) where birders and wildlife To maintain some historical features of the enthusiasts can experience wonderful opportunities. There are rare local species, furnace, brick walls are reused to make a beautiful path and to enhance the views winter visitors, and migrants of all kinds crossing from continental Europe to Africa to the center of Pienza. A fornace market will attract not only the tourists of Pienza, and back each year. but also others in the Val d’Orcia. Salvaged bricks are used for a new fountain and a The goals of this project are to reuse new piazza on the site. a recent piece of Pienza’s history, the furnace; to create new bike facilities and bike routes, so that Pienza might become a bike tourism hub; to improve connections between neighboring towns to improve local commutes; to diversify the tourism economy; and to create a new birding hotspot.

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Flows of Pienza

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Flows of Pienza.


Jinah Kim

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Existing conditions: water flow + forest.


Flows of Pienza

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Proposed water flow + forest: percorsi shape the landform and control water flow.


Jinah Kim

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Different conditions of percorsi.


Flows of Pienza

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“The designer clearly understood water, which played really well in her design.� - Frederick Steiner

Site analysis of fornace.


Jinah Kim

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Top image - stage 01: reuse the existing structure. Bottom image - stage 02: new structures.


Flows of Pienza

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Aerial view: from the south.


Jinah Kim

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Flows of Pienza

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Top image - aerial view: form the north. Bottom image - site elevation: connecting bird’s hot spot.


Jinah Kim

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Top image - view: fornace market. Bottom image - view: view from the bike trail.


Flows of Pienza

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View: fornace fonte.


Jinah Kim

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Fornaci, Site ii | Scott Spencer Jackson

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SHEEP INDUSTRIES


“The designer doesn’t focus on any one aspect of potential of place… people will get excited about different components. Think about how buildings are related to one another, look at the DNA of Pienza and see if you could translate this (to your design).” - Randy Mason

Located in Tuscany and a UNESCO world heritage designation, Pienza is most widely known for its early renaissance urban intervention under Pope Pius II in the 15th century. Today, tourism drives the town’s economy, and its products, such as its famous pecorino cheese, wine, and clothing, are at risk of losing ties to the region. The site of the abandoned fornace, or brickworks, at the city’s edge not only signifies the decline of the Tuscan manufacturing economy, but also reflects the fragmentation and neglect of Tuscany’s broader culture of craftsmanship.

My project calls for the transformation of this abandoned site to serve as an apparel and textile industry cluster. In addition to connecting with Tuscany’s legacy industries of textiles and wool, this cluster shares inputs with the existing sheep cheese industry in Pienza. At present only the frame of the former brickworks building remains. The building’s footprint becomes the site of a wildflower meadow with a central seam down the middle that both amplifies the experience of the industrial ruin and calls for the reintegration of the region’s territory and industries. Since the site sits one kilometer from Pienza’s historic core, it is crucial to establish a relatively centralized parking

solution that manages to retain a pedestrian-friendly environment. Sheep Industries provides up to 70 parking spaces, most of which are situated on the “apparel” side and adjacent to the central restaurant and public plaza. This means that many of the textile workers, cheese makers, and sheep farmers will have the opportunity for a brief but lovely walk to their day job. I established a 60 degree, one-way parking system with the same herringbone Roman brick paving system found in the major pedestrian areas of the site. A series of brick planters between basalt-paved medians both divide and provide texture and character to the space. The overall impact of these choices balances the aesthetic and pragmatic demands of the site and allows the parking zones to absorb other social uses when not fully utilized for parking. Roman bricks are also used for the paths that surround the site as well as for the central gathering areas that overlook the ruin. This strategic decision, along with the regrading of the two hills on the site, highlights the picturesque experience of looking down upon the ruins. Limestone bricks in the elevated paths that run through the wildflower meadow and the footprint of the fornace endow the site’s central space with a powerful sense of minimalism.

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Sheep Industries

“Wonderful organization of comprehensive thinking … in the integration of sheep, cheese and fashion.” - Sue Weiler

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Sheep industries.


Scott Spencer Jackson

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Social and economic context.


Sheep Industries

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Connectivity and site context.


Scott Spencer Jackson

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Site analysis and selection.


Sheep Industries

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“Good idea that the buildings are not occupying the center.� Site design.

- Raffaella Fabiani Giannetto


Scott Spencer Jackson

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Site plan.


Apparel Hub

Sheep Industries

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Views.


Scott Spencer Jackson

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Views.


Sheep Industries

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Views.


Scott Spencer Jackson

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Views.


Fornaci, Site ii | Boya Lu

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THE RETURN OF HISTORY


“It is very visionary but believable, and I could see it happening over the period of time. I appreciate the thoughts on orientation and the insertions of vegetation.” - Sue Weiler

Wheat is a rain-fed crop that is

widely cultivated across Tuscany. Rising temperatures and decreasing rainfall are serious threats to Tuscany’s wheat lands. Based on recent studies, crop diversification is an adaptive management tool for dealing with climate change challenges. Agroforestry is an example of an agricultural system with high structural complexity. Agroforestry is not a new idea but it was widely used as a practice across Tuscany hundreds of years ago. In earlier stages of design, I researched agroforestry systems that existed in Tuscany in the past, as well as crop types that can be planted under forest layers and their living conditions. Construction of a testing farm would allow agroforestry techniques to be tested on the ground. It would also reconnect gaps in existing forestry corridors. The design strategy begins with building terraces, a traditional practice for managing soil erosion and drought problems in Tuscany. The next step is to select agroforestry types based on aspects and slopes. The slopes facing south and west are best suited for

growing oak forest with olive trees and fruit trees. The slopes facing east are suited for oak forest with grapes and berries. Dark oak forest with hazelnut trees and mushrooms are planted on north-facing slopes. Pine forest with wheat land and pasture land are grown on flat slopes. A research pavilion and visitors’ center are centrally located, where these forest types intersect. Although the site is mainly used for agriculture, several trails are designed for access to varying forest types and to emphasize seasonal views. Recreational spots along these trails are connected with an irrigation system. During irrigation, water will flow through these areas as waterfalls before irrigating crops, so that visitors can feel, touch, and experience the farming process. In the dark oak forest, paths are elevated for growing fern on the ground; mushroom growing frames are used as walls for terraces. The paths that go between pasture land and existing forest corridor are elevated for letting both wild animals and livestock move between these two places for food and cover.

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The Return of History

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Analysis: wheat yields are decreasing annually due to climate change.

Carter, T. (2010). Assessing impacts of climate change: an editorial essay. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 1(4), pp.479482. Mereu, M. (2016). Studi sardi 2.0. Riflessioni del nuovo millennio. Incontri. Rivista europea di studi italiani, 31(1), p.130.


Boya Lu

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The Return of History

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Agroforestry: an adaptive management for climate change.

Lin, B. (2011). Resilience in Agriculture through Crop Diversification: Adaptive Management for Environmental Change. BioScience, 61(3), pp.183-193.


Boya Lu

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Contents of Forest Ecology and Management, volume 91. (1997). Forest Ecology and Management, 91(2-3), pp.291-292.


The Return of History

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Site: agroforestry testing farm connects existing forestry corridor.


Boya Lu

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Analysis: agroforestry types based on aspects.


The Return of History

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Master plan.


Boya Lu

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The Return of History

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Zoom-in plan: oak forest with olives and grapes.


Boya Lu

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The Return of History

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Zoom-in plan: central pavilion & Pine forest with wheats & oak forest with berries.


Boya Lu

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Zoom-in plan: pasture land & dark oak forest with hazelnuts.


The Return of History

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Aerial view: irrigation system and wall as recreational spots.


Boya Lu

“I love the clarity of the ideas, particularly the elements for socializing and the water features, but you have to balance out the effects you created in the wet and dry season.� - Terry Guen

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The Return of History

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Central pavilion: where different agroforestry types interact.


Boya Lu

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The Return of History

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View transitions.


Boya Lu

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View transitions.


Fornaci, Site ii | Sarai L. Williams

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TERRE DINAMICHE: REMEDIATION THROUGH CULTIVATION


“Practically very exciting that the designer makes the site a university research station.” - Randy Mason

“Amazing abilities to roll out a sequential set up of impacts and operations. The designer is really working on ‘why’. ” - Laurie Olin

The idea is to utilize the abandoned

brownfield of the Fornace West to demonstrate the potential for repurposing the area into a productive and attractive landscape. It will serve as an “experimental” micro-farm or innovative hub of sorts that displays various approaches to sheep & goat farming for cheese production, wine production, water collection, and several other agricultural practices possible in this region. Additionally, the site will be displayed as a constantly changing and adaptive space, where those engaging with the site will be able to observe its progress and cultivation. The hope is that the success of the site’s revitalization from a brownfield to a dynamic hub will be a catalyst and example for similar degraded or compromised sites not only around the region, but eventually establishing Pienza as a pioneer in the realm of sustainable and adaptive redevelopment.

The Town of Pienza seeks to redirect some of its investment toward their local young adult population while creating a place that does not significantly disrupt its desirable, historic character. The goal of the project is to feature the various types of cultivation unique to the Val d’Orcia with the added objective of research opportunities for addressing changing climate, economics, sustainable cultivation techniques, etc. allowing for continued exploration by both local and visiting young professionals in fields of science, agriculture, viticulture, ecology, culinary arts, small scale entrepreneurship, and other related areas.

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Terre Dinamiche: Remediation through Cultivation

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Regional analysis: location of nearby brownfields.


Sarai L. Williams

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Site analysis.


Terre Dinamiche: Remediation through Cultivation

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Project concerns and goals: diagrammed are several components of the Fornace West site that were chosen as primary objectives to resolve or address in some manner over the development of the project.


Sarai L. Williams

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Top - current condition of site: Google Earth Image 2017; Clay Manufacturing Process – 1. Material Procurement, 2. Tempuring, 3. Moulding, 4. Drying, 5. Firing Bottom - cut & fill diagram; phasing concepts: conceptual sketches over the site model of the 0-2 year and 5-7 year phasing plans.


Terre Dinamiche: Remediation through Cultivation

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Top - Phase I chunk diagram of 0-2 year site strategies. Bottom -Phase II chunk diagram of 5-7 year site strategies.


Sarai L. Williams

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Phase III chunk diagram of 15+ year site strategies


Terre Dinamiche: Remediation through Cultivation

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Site Plan - Area | 152,785 m2 Perimeter | 1.73 km (1.07 mi.)


Sarai L. Williams

1. Main Building 2. Parking & Nursery space 223

3. Student & Employee housing 4. Plaza space 5. Solar field + test plots/comm. garden 6. Stables (Sheep & Goats) 7. Grazing pasture 8. Public wading pool 9. Filtration Ponds 10. Terraced vineyards 11. Reestablished forest (with truffles) 12. Terraced walkway/stair + Visitor Pavilion


Terre Dinamiche: Remediation through Cultivation

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Top - (Top) Site during Phase II of project; (Bottom) Site in Phase III. Bottom -Diagram of Proposed Activities within restored Clay Manufacturing building.


Sarai L. Williams

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Top - view of northeast portion of the site: includes the reestablished forest, the public wading pool, the filtration ponds, and the vineyards. Bottom -view of main plaza space: the solar field + test plots/community garden, and the onsite housing for students & employees.


Percorsi, Site iii | Moya Sun

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STONE LOCALE: AN OCEAN MEMORIAL SITE AS THE CIVIC CENTER FOR FUTURE TOWN DEVELOPMENT


“With the new buildings, the way the designer guides the people walking through there and tiptoeing on the edge of the landform is pretty powerful.” - Rebecca Popowsky

After the 18th century, industrial

development led to urban sprawl outside of the “ideal city.” Due to the lack of appropriate planning, the modern part of the town is separated from the ideal city. Connecting overshadowed archaeology sites and new public spaces into the trail system and diversifying economic sectors are needed to cope with the aging population of the town and fit into the larger planning framework of Val d’Orcia area.

hotel, an amphitheater, and a path into the woods leading toward the Fonte Tonda reactivation site. Together with the existing soccer field, the new civic center provides a diversified space for activities ranging from cultural performances to sports activities, echoing the saying “sound body, sound mind.”

The center of the project is the water feature, a seasonal pool for children’s play. Meanwhile, it is a memorial site for the geological origins of Tuscany: it features a limestone sculpture, LA As the new town planning regulation will be eventually realized, opportunities BARCA, originally designed in 2016 by a local artist, in memory of Mario to introduce culture events and Luzi. Italy is famous for the quarrying reactivate the archaeology site are provided by the new infrastructure. For of limestone. However, limestone was formed in the ocean initially, before the example, a highway shortcut of SS146 stone in the ocean basin was pushed was constructed recently, opening a up into the mountains. The birth of threshold to the west of Pienza, while Italy, the birth of Tuscany, the great reducing the traffic stress towards the landscape and the culture are all the center town effectively at the same results of this geological movement. time. The signature shape of the stone in each period is the inspiration of the This project is a sequence of public rock setting in this project, and the spaces located at the intersection of composition of these forms acts as highway SS146. A pedestrian path a celebration of and memorial to the slopes down from north to the south, special geological condition in Italy. beginning with a parking lot, followed by a stone pine square, an ocean memorial water feature, a theater, a

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Stone Locale: An Ocean Memorial Site as the Civic Center for Future Town Development

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Regional analysis: Thresholds at different elevation show different characters, therefore a structure to link the thresholds together is introduced.


Moya Sun

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CNC model and analysis sketch.


Stone Locale: An Ocean Memorial Site as the Civic Center for Future Town Development

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Earth work operation: existing, terracing and retaining.


Moya Sun

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Master plan.


Stone Locale: An Ocean Memorial Site as the Civic Center for Future Town Development

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Geologic origin of Italy and Tuscany, sketch in charcoal.


Moya Sun

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Site plan.


Stone Locale: An Ocean Memorial Site as the Civic Center for Future Town Development

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Top: Longitudinal section across the site. Bottom: Zoom-in section of stone pine square, ocean memorial and amphitheater.


Moya Sun

“If you could tell the story of water as strongly as depicting the other elements, you would make the project richer.� - Janelle Johnson

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Stone Locale: An Ocean Memorial Site as the Civic Center for Future Town Development

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Material study with charcoal tracing.


Moya Sun

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LA BARCA: Pienza holds a culture festival for poet Mario Luzi every year in memory of his great contribution to culture of Tuscany. Inspired by his artpiece, local artist, Mario Biagiotti created a sculpture called LA BARCA as part of the festival celebration. In the project, the iron sculpture gets enlarged into a huge limestone piece, set in the pool with the reflection of the blue sky.


Stone Locale: An Ocean Memorial Site as the Civic Center for Future Town Development

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Perspective of ocean memorial, LA BARCA, sketch in charcoal and computer rendering.


Moya Sun

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Stone Locale: An Ocean Memorial Site as the Civic Center for Future Town Development

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Perspective of amphitheater with the performance of Pina Bausch, sketch in charcoal and computer rendering Opposite page: Perspective of the entrance to the forest, looking back to the square, sketch in charcoal and computer rendering


Moya Sun

“I really appreciate the quality of your sketches. There is a want to be quiet, so it is getting memorial. But isn’t it better to have people there, like a living related to not only a solemn way but in a reflective another way. I like your challenge to think through what does it mean to be memorial in this kind of place.” - Terry Guen

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Percorsi, Site iii | Yuxia Zhou

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STRETCH THE NEW PUBLIC LIFE FOR PIENZA


“Wonderful idea of creating a linear park beside the wall and with a great use of the difficult space... the colors of materials among different parks are quite similar, the representation is very homogenous, needs to be exaggerated.” - Raffaella Fabiani Giannetto

“The contemporary patterns and place designed adjacent to the existing context are in a spirit of walking through the old city.” - Terry Guen

This project focuses on the

improvement of spatial experiences along the south edge of Pienza. This transitional area between the old city and the highway has the potential to not only connect existing public spaces, but also to extend, or stretch, public life in Pienza. As a new public space, the linear compact park will connect from Pieve di Corsignano to the east exit of Pienza Centro. This linear park will strengthen the existing circulation around the walled center, celebrate the old city walls, and activate the south edge of the city by adding new programs along the walk. Three zones ---- “Micro-Val d’Orcia Park,” “Piccolomini Park,” and the “Sculpture Park” ---- will provide various experiences of the typical Tuscan landscape and increase the dialogue between the old city walls and a new public life.

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Stretch the New Public Life for Pienza

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Main problems and opportunities along focused linear space.


Yuxia Zhou

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Stretch the New Public Life for Pienza

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Micro Val d’Orcia park: plan/ schematic elevation diagram/ material & plants palette.


Yuxia Zhou

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Stretch the New Public Life for Pienza

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Micro Val d’Orcia park detail sections: spatial transition from the highway, curved brick wall and bench, sampietrini pathway, retaining wall structure to the nursery field. Opposite: view of the first retaining wall sculpture (top), view of the second retaining wall sculpture (bottom).


Yuxia Zhou

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Stretch the New Public Life for Pienza

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Piccolomini park: plan/ schematic elevation diagram/ material & plants palette.


Yuxia Zhou

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Stretch the New Public Life for Pienza

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Piccolomini park detail sections: spatial transition from highway, edge wall planting bed, outdoor café platform, grass bench terrace, sandstone pathway, the inserted new tourist catering building blocks to the old city wall interface. Opposite: view of wisteria trellis and the looking out “window”(top), view of grass bench terrace and the connection from upper city wall to lower linear park (bottom).


Yuxia Zhou

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Stretch the New Public Life for Pienza

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Sculpture park: plan/ schematic elevation diagram/ material & plants palette.


Yuxia Zhou

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Stretch the New Public Life for Pienza

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Piccolomini park detail sections: spatial transition from highway, new waving brick wall, planting beds, decomposed granite pathway, sculpture exhibition space to old city wall interface. Opposite: view of first sculpture space(top), view of second sculpture space (bottom).


Yuxia Zhou

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Percorsi, Site iii | Chen Hu

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SENSORY PIENZA


“Great analysis of the urban structures and places of opportunities. A rich story in drawings.” - Sue Weiler

“A wonderful job taking consideration of sense of period, sense of touch, texture and material more than the sense of visual.” - Raffaella Fabiani Giannetto

Located in the UNESCO World

Heritage site of the Val d’Orcia, Pienza coexists with great cultural and natural richness. Today, except for the famous brand “the Ideal Renaissance City” and the postcard views, the spiritual uniqueness of Pienza has faded. The medieval city walls, the cathedral, and the single central axis comprise the spatial structure of Pienza’s historic core, but this structure is so simple and closed that it heavily limits the city life inside and out. Given other issues, for instance, an aging population, lack of desirable theaters and open spaces, and the weak landscape connectivity to the surrounding scenery, the ambition of this project is to open up the possibilities of Pienza’s historic core by forming a new spatial structure.

then enters the new North Park, and ends in the northern parking lot. The northern node is designed as a theater that invites people to come in and take away memories. Its design contains six sequential scenes: Chapel Yard, Universe Theater, Amphitheater, Triptych Garden, Sky Mirror, and Terrace Parking. The existing 10 percent slope of this site takes advantage of unobstructed views of Tuscan countryside to the north. When people arrive at this north entrance, get out of their car at the northern parking lot, and roam up along the paths, every time that they look back, the gentle rolling hills of the Val d’Orcia seem to disappear in the horizon, with an elegant succession of soft colors, from green to ochre and brown and rows of cypress trees. The park is a triptych that frames the view out, also framing the sensory experience and pleasure.

Building upon the existing conditions, the new proposal consists of one new axis, and three redesigned focal points. The focal points are the Piazza Dante Alighieri, the east ramp across the old city walls near the library and, “God almighty first planted a garden: especially, the newly proposed North and, indeed, it is the purest of human Park. The new axis starts from the Cathedral, passes the Piazza di Spagna, pleasure.” ---- Francis Bacon* * Bacon, F. (1909). XLVI Of Gardens. Essays, civil and moral: and The new Atlantis. Collier.

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Sensory Pienza

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Master plan: the newly proposed Pienza historic core spatial structure contains three focal points (the Piazza Dante Alighieri, the east ramp across over the old city wall in the library and the north node) and one axis (starts from the Cathedral, passes the Piazza di Spagna, then enters the new north park and ends up with the north parking lot).


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North node site plan: this is now a private owned property, but we propose to acquire and transfer it into public use. This site is a rectangular shape with an even 10% slope and directly attaches to the north parking lot.


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Chapel yard: the existing space in front of the chapel is very tight and not user-friendly. The construction of the fan-shape staircase somehow enlarge the space, but the dangerous road and the solid wall of the property across the road still negatively affect the space. In this project, we propose to acquire this property and transfer it into public use. By unifying the pavement (white and blue cobble stone) in between the chapel and the Universe Theater, tearing down the existing courtyard wall of the property and reshaping the new landscape, we could further expand the space and improve its spatial quality.


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Universe theatre: by studying the local architecture’s facade ratio, with the idea that makes the new theater modern but blend into the old city of Pienza, several design approaches are used. 1. The pavement is a bluish color which differs with the old town’s yellowish and reddish color. 2. The form of the theater learns from the Chapel and Cathedral, but the materials are differentiated.


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Amphitheatre: following the Italian tradition, a theater is usually designed together with an outdoor theater. So here, in this park, after stepping out of the Universe Theater, people will enter the amphitheater, an outdoor theater with a cypress row as back wall and the far away Val d’Orcia rolling hills as deep space.


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Triptych garden: the main body of this park borrows the idea of a Renaissance Triptych. The three divisions are not only for emphasizing the axis but also for characterizing each of the zones. The entire space is divided into three space hierarchies by three kinds of paths paved by blue & white cobble stone, small and gravel respectively. The paths also form the frame of that the six pleasure gardens fit into.


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Sky mirror: as one of the ends of this axis (the other one is the Universe Theater), the arch responds to the theater’s architectural language, the temporary water fountain also responds to the concept of universe. Additionally, the fountain is temporary. So when there is water, it’d be a dramatic ending of the landscape sequence. When there is no water, people could overlook the scenery through the triptych wall.


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Terrace parking: parking has always been a thorny issue in ancient town like Pienza. The existing parking in the site is located in a good position, but doesn’t serve the historic core very well. Given the even almost 10% slope, the amount of parking cars and the importance of being the gateway that people enter the N-S axis, the goal of this parking lot design is to improve the capacity, parking experience and landscape that make it part of the park. The design move is to adjust the parking to follow the contour, parallel park the cars and divide the ground surface into terraces for people to walk, and planting trees.


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Wind garden: in order to create a dramatic experience for the sense of hearing, the design combines plant and installation aiming at forming a place that can amplify the effect of wind and make people focus on the pleasure of hearing wind.


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Bird garden: here is a paradise for birds. The landscape design is trying to create a desirable habitat for birds. The bird feeders and sound horns are close to each other to create a unique sound field in this garden.


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Edible garden: berries, and fruits are planted here. When people roam around this garden, they could pick the fruits and have a taste.


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Perfume garden: lavender and rose are mix planted in this garden to create different aromas in different seasons.


Percorsi, Site iii | Zhengneng (Albert) Chen

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CREATE A WALKABLE HISTORY: EDITING THE PERCORSI IN PIENZA


“An elegant mastery of landscape.” - Frederick Steiner

“Here the designer gets both the drawings and intellectual integrity nicely.” - Sue Weiler

Today, as we operate in place

identity of small towns with cultural and historical heritage, the biggest challenge is not so much of preserving the old as about conserving the historical values and collective memories in a continuous transition from the past, through the present, to the future. This project aims at providing a hermeneutic landscape approach in balancing historical conservation, local public life, and tourism development by editing a part of the historical percorsi (local trails) of Pienza, which stretch from a medieval church (Pieve di Corsignano), to an archaeological quarry site, to an urban piazza (Piazza Dante Alighieri), and to the old city (Centro di Pienza). The latest UNESCO reports of world heritage have highlighted the preservation of Pienza in a crucial relationship with its surrounding multilayered landscape. This project site is situated on the limestone platform of Pienza, with a transitional landscape between the urban hilltop and the agrarian valley. This landscape through the percorsi demonstrates a humanistic

variety, extending from urban artifacts, an intensively cultivated hill, to the vast agrarian valley of the Val d’Orcia. However, the multi-layered history of Pienza is only preserved within historical site boundaries, and the existing percorsi are used as a shared asphalt road which overlooks continuity and legibility among the historical sites. Therefore, I argue a need to conserve and articulate the historical percorsi as a walkable transect through the multi-layered landscape and history of Pienza. This conservation of the historical percorsi of Pienza introduces a hermeneutic approach in historical conservation by employing landscape in articulating the neglected identity between the historical site boundaries. With a design lexicon of local materiality, native plants, local building and paving crafts, and regional geography and geology, this approach presents a manifold framework for landscape implementations and a depth in anchoring contemporary developments with embedded historical significance.

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Site context: the landscape through the percorsi on the southern hill of Pienza demonstrates a humanistic variety extending from urban artifacts, intensively cultivated hill, to the vast agrarian valley in Val d’Orcia. Opposite page - Site analysis: the project site is situated on the limestone platform of Pienza, with a transitional landscape between the urban hill top and the agrarian valley. Reorganized criculation: I argue a need to conserve and articulate the historical percorsi as a walkable transect through the multi-layered landscape and history of Pienza.


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Create A Walkable History: Editing the Historical Percorsi in Pienza

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Master plan: editing the existing percorsi and the historical sites as one continuous field.


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Existing conditions and ditch linkage between historical artifacts: linking the historical fountain (Fonte di Rutiliano) and the overlooked historical relic (Vasca del Morto).


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Site plan i - Pieve di Corsignano: integrating the field by repaving with local stones and creating linkage of fountains.


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View: the integrated field of Pieve di Corsignano.


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“You might not register the designer actually has done something… smart and recessive.” - David Hollenberg

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Proposed section and view of the archaeological site.


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Site plan ii - the archaeological site: treading on the edge of archaeological field.


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Site analysis - Piazza Dante Alighieri: the site needs a civic space to hold annual events and a legible guidance to the old city and other historical sites on the southern hill.


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Site plan iii - Piazza Dante Alighieri: landscape implementation as a simple and legible connection between the old city and the historical percorsi.


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Top: view of the piazza and the fountain details. Bottom: longitudinal section.


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View of Fonte di Dante Alighieri: the linear fountain is designed to re-identify the missing spirit of Dante Alighieri in the piazza and provide a guidance towards the historical sites on the southern hill.


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Piazza Dante Alighieri, Site iv | Jingshi (James) Diao

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MINIATURA TOSCANA: REDESIGN OF PIAZZA DANTE ALIGHIERI


“The miniature of Tuscan landscape is a nice idea... Is that the only possiblity for there to be a lawn (in the center of the piazza)?” - Raffaella Fabiani Giannetto

“Lovely schemes in answering the program and very delightful style... Why is the fountain in a form of a geyser? I think the narrative here might be geographically incorrect.” - Michael Van Valkenburgh

Piazza Dante Alighieri is located at

an edge between local community and the city’s main tourist attraction, facing the conflict between local residents and the increasing number of tourists. This piazza is a unique public space in Pienza because there is an urban edge along the old town while there is also a visual connection toward the southern countryside. Therefore, Piazza Dante Alighieri is located at the edge between city and countryside. The special location of Piazza Dante Alighieri is both a challenge and an opportunity for design. As in the typical Tuscan landscape, where we find not only hilly pastures but also urban piazzas, the main idea of this design is to introduce an urban piazza and a hilly open lawn to Piazza Dante Alighieri. On one hand, these places provide enough space for both tourists and residents even in peak tourist season.

On the other hand, they respond to the special location of Piazza Dante Alighieri, at the edge between city and countryside. Lastly, they are the representation of the typical Tuscan landscape. Therefore, the new Piazza Dante Alighieri is a combination of a piazza and a park, which is a miniature of Tuscany ---- a 21st-century Tuscan civic landscape.

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Miniatura Toscana: Redesign of Piazza Dante Alighieri

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Site analysis: Piazza Dante Alighieri located at the edge between city and countryside.


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Site analysis: Piazza Dante Alighieri located at the edge between local community and tourism attraction.


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Top - Site analysis: Piazza Dante Alighieri is a unique public space. - Site analysis: Piazza Dante Alighieri is facing a complex traffic issue. Bottom - Concept diagram: the miniature of Tuscany landscape.


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Miniatura Toscana: Redesign of Piazza Dante Alighieri

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Master plan: a combination of urban piazza and countryside pasture.


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Miniatura Toscana: Redesign of Piazza Dante Alighieri

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Top - Operation Diagram: keep existing healthy trees, solve the traffic issue, and create a place for both residents and tourists. Bottom - Sections: a combination of a fountain piazza and hilly Tuscany topo with local vegetation.


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Aerial view: the vegetation buffer blocks the traffic noise away from Piazza Dante Alighieri.


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Detail design: use the traditional materials in a new way for making a contemporary civic place.


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Physical model: Piazza Dante Alighieri, the miniature of Tuscan landscape.


Miniatura Toscana: Redesign of Piazza Dante Alighieri

“I think the gate is the thing there, (but then) the offcentered fountain is something more ‘contemporary’ and more ‘fun’ put next to it.” - Terry Guen

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View: urban piazza in early spring.


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Miniatura Toscana: Redesign of Piazza Dante Alighieri

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View: path toward the gate of old town Pienza in early summer.


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Piazza Dante Alighieri, Site iv | Shilei Lu

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DIVINE COMEDY IN PIENZA


“The most fun part of this design is being able to take a good story and make a simple interpretation and put it into space.” - Janelle Johnson

“How about a series of views showing how the experience changes through the three zones?” - Raffaella Fabiani Giannetto

“A new invention but is also culturally appropriate.” - Terry Guen

My design concept for Piazza Dante Alighieri is to memorialize Dante’s Divine Comedy.

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characteristics in Purgatorio ---- waiting.

This Piazza Dante Alighieri renewal project is an interpretation of the Divine Comedy. It will attract citizens and Divine Comedy is comprised of three parts, Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. tourists to use it and to learn more about the Divine Comedy and Dante To represent these three parts, this Alighieri. As a unique memorial piazza project takes a sculptural approach in Italy, this piazza will become a new to represent Inferno and Paradiso and tourist attraction for this historic old uses the piazza’s setting to represent town. Purgatorio. These three parts stimulate three kinds of bodily experiences. In the Inferno sculpture, people feel uneasy - they even need to watch their balance when going across this sculpture. In the Paradiso sculpture, the people are attracted by the reflection of this sculpture and feel peaceful and happy. The rest of the Piazza, the Purgatorio, provides many kinds of seating, which reflects one of most significant


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“It comes from Dante... goes and joins another culture and becomes a third culture.� - Frederick Steiner

Physical model.


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Concept: the Divine Comedy is made of three parts, Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso. To represent these three parts, this project takes a sculptural approach to represent Inferno and Paradiso and uses the piazza’s setting to represent Purgatorio. Top: Domenico di Michelino’s painting, Florence, 1465.


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Plan.


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Sections and organizations


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Divine Comedy in Pienza

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Inferno: the design of Inferno is to represent the cracked ground, a sinking boat, the gulf and the energy of natural disasters. There are four main operations to achieve it. Firstly, to keep two rows of existing chestnut trees, kill and reshape three of them. Secondly, to create four big tilting stones with shapes transforming from the tomb. Third, to design and manage the water flow on the sculpture. Lastly, creating a broken pavement pattern on the ground.


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View of Inferno: in the Inferno sculpture, people feel unacquainted and uneasy, they even need to hold their balance when going across this sculpture.


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Paradiso sculpture.


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Purgatorio: the Purgatorio area is to represent a mountain in the sea, a waiting place with an Earthly Paradise on the top. It is a flexible place which could work as an outdoor theater and daily civic places with various sitting areas.


Shilei Lu

“It is a new thing brought in the city with spirit, quality and drama. Clear, simple but strong and nonliteral forms.� - Laurie Olin

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“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” “The past is never dead. -WilliamIt’s Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun not even past.” -William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun, 1951

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Afterword

One can do some things quickly.

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Others require more time. In this collaborative spring 2017 studio, students and faculty from the University of Pennsylvania were able to observe and learn a considerable amount of information about Pienza and its region, and to offer a variety of potentially helpful suggestions for a number of design and preservation inventions, interventions, additions, visual and physical edits, and precautions regarding future development in the city and its immediate environs. Our scope was limited by time (one academic semester), the season (late winter and early spring), and the limited amount of their interaction and involvement with the people of Pienza. In the course of study and exploration, faculty and students alike came to understand that there was still much they did not know and that there were a number of problems relating to the ecology and economy of the Val d’Orcia that could not be addressed properly in one limited studio. Also, despite generating a variety of interesting alternative ideas, a number of which could easily prove beneficial, they cannot all be achieved, and certainly not without more community involvement and further development. Ideally a subsequent studio and workshop could be staged to expand the scope of study to accommodate concerns in the larger surrounding territory, and to work in more depth with the citizens and local authorities, so as to bring some of this imaginative work to fruition for the benefit of the citizens of Pienza.

Alcune cose possono essere fatte

in fretta. Altre richiedono più tempo. In questo seminario del 2017, gli studenti e i docenti dell’University of Pennsylvania hanno potuto osservare e assimilare una rilevante quantità di informazioni relative a Pienza e al suo contesto territoriale, che li ha messi in grado di offrire una varietà di suggerimenti potenzialmente utili per una serie di interventi di progettazione e conservazione, di ampliamento e di modifica, nonché di indirizzi per il futuro sviluppo della città e dei suoi dintorni. La nostra attività è stata limitata dal tempo a disposizione (un semestre accademico), dalla stagione (tardo inverno e inizio primavera) e dalla limitata interazione con la popolazione di Pienza. Durante il seminario e durante i sopralluoghi, sia i docenti che gli studenti hanno capito che c’era ancora molto da scoprire e che gli svariati problemi relativi all’ecologia e all’economia della Val d’Orcia non potevano essere trattati correttamente all’interno di un seminario così breve. Inoltre, nonostante la produzione di una serie di idee interessanti, molte delle quali potrebbero facilmente risultare vantaggiose, si è capito che non tutte potevano essere realizzate, in particolare senza un maggior coinvolgimento della comunità e senza ulteriori approfondimenti. Riteniamo che i seminari e i laboratori successivi possano essere organizzati per ampliare il campo di studio, per accogliere i temi del contesto territoriale circostante e per lavorare in modo più approfondito con la popolazione e con le autorità locali, in modo da far sì che i cittadini di Pienza traggano beneficio da alcune di queste prefigurazioni progettuali.


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Photo by You Wu (top image), Laurie Olin (bottom image).


Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Ilene

Steingut (MArch’82) for initiating this stimulating project. She and her husband, Giuseppe Vallifuoco, and their firm VPS Architetti were most helpful throughout the undertaking. From the Comune of Pienza, we appreciate the assistance of Mayor Fabrizio Fè, Giampietro Colombini, Andrea Giorgio (Ufficio Cultura Comune di Pienza), and Architetto Fausto Formichi. We value the hospitality by the staff of Albergo Rutiliano. Several other local businesses enhanced our visit to Pienza especially Enoteca di Ghino and Caseificio Cugusi. Benedetta Origo’s gracious tour of La Foce on a rain-soaked March morning was truly unforgettable. 328

We thank Pam and John Lifton-Zoline for their generous financial backing of the studio. The George Howard Bickley Endowment made this publication possible. We also appreciate the summer funding from Penn Green Campus Partnership’s Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum (ISAC) Program. For the ISAC support, we are grateful to Environmental Sustainability Director Dan Garofalo. Several PennDesign administrative staff provided much help including Kait Ellis in the PennDesign Dean’s Office, Diane Pringle of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, and Amanda Bloomfield of the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation as well as the overall support from OLIN.

Vorremmo ringraziare Ilene Steingut

(MArch’82) per aver dato inizio a questo progetto stimolante. Lei e suo marito Giuseppe Vallifuoco, insieme al loro studio VPS Architetti sono stati di grande aiuto nel corso di tutto il lavoro. Del Comune of Pienza, abbiamo gradito il supporto del sindaco Fabrizio Fè, di Giampietro Colombini, di Andrea Giorgio (Ufficio Cultura Comune di Pienza), e dell’architetto Fausto Formichi. Abbiamo apprezzato l’ospitalità di tutto il personale dell’Albergo Rutiliano. Molti altri gestori locali hanno reso gradevole il nostro soggiorno a Pienza, specialmente l’Enoteca di Ghino ed il Caseificio Cugusi. La graziosa visita a villa La Foce insieme a Benedetta Origo in una fradicia mattina di marzo è stata davvero indimenticabile. Ringraziamo Pam e John LiftonZoline per il loro generoso sostegno finanziario al corso. The George Howard Bickley Endowment ha reso possibile questa pubblicazione. Apprezziamo anche i finanziamenti estivi dal programma di sostenibilità integrata del partenariato Penn Green Campus nel corso del programma di studi Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum (ISAC). Per il supporto ISAC, siamo grati a Dan Garofalo, responsabile per la sostenibilità ambientale. Molti staff amministrativi di PennDesign hanno prestato un grande aiuto, tra cui Kait Ellis dell’ufficio del Preside di PennDesign, Diane Pringle del Dipartimento di Architettura paesaggista e pianificazione regionale, e Amanda Bloomfield del programma di laurea in conservazione storica, nonché il sostegno globale da parte di OLIN.


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Landscape Design Studio Instructors Laurie Olin Rebecca Popowsky Frederick Steiner Students Zhengneng (Albert) Chen Jingshi (James) Diao Chen Hu Scott Spencer Jackson Jinah Kim Boya Lu Shilei Lu Yuzhou (Joe) Shao Karli Scott Moya Sun Sarai Lynne Williams Le (Cindy) Xu Yuxia Zhou

Historic Preservation Seminar Instructor Randall Mason

Book Editors Zhengneng (Albert) Chen Katlyn Elizabeth Cotton

Students Katlyn Elizabeth Cotton Arielle Harris Joel Naiman Mikayla Raymond Garret Richardson Evan Schueckler Carolyn Zemanian

Book Design Zhengneng (Albert) Chen

Critics Raffaella Fabiani Giannetto Terry Guen David Hollenberg Janelle Johnson Michael Van Valkenburgh Sue Weiler

Image Credits Cover image and frontispiece by Albert Chen. Page 6-7, 16-17, 32-33, 64-65, 108-107, 120-121, 320-321, 325 photos by Frederick Steiner.

Italian Translation Giuseppe Vallifuoco Giacomo Landi Rebecca Popowsky Ilene Steingut


Pienza, Italy | Spring 2017

Š2017 by the University of Pennsylvania School of Design

Past is Prologue: Pienza, Italy  

Laurie Olin, Rebecca Popowsky, Randall Mason, Frederick Steiner

Past is Prologue: Pienza, Italy  

Laurie Olin, Rebecca Popowsky, Randall Mason, Frederick Steiner