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NEW SILVI CEMETERY

Project:  Giovanni Vaccarini 

Chronology:   project: 2007;realization: 2008 -2009 

Grantee and performer:  Consorzio Progetti & Finanza 

Staff:  Cosimino Casterini, Attilio Mauri 

Structures:  Pietro Taraschi

Client:  Local Council of  Silvi  (Te) 

Photographer:  Alessandro Ciampi

A cemetery is a place of collective memory. Walking in these places re-dimensions the scope of our efforts in relation to the passing of time.
It is difficult to find a "pattern" in the expansions of the last decades. This probably reflects the uncertainty and cultural disconnection experienced during the era of mass industrialization.
The project site is located to the north of the "graveyard": it is an abandoned sloping area whose former use as agricultural land is recalled now only by the presence of a few olive trees.
The slope faces the sea; to the east and west the landscape is dominated by a viaduct of the A14 motorway.
The idea of the new project was to establish a dialogue with the contour lines of the site and, at the same time, with the surrounding landscape. The buildings are designed as filiform elements that follow the contours to create a series of stepped spaces. The buildings open onto the landscape, subverting one of the canonical components of a cemetery: the perimeter wall.
In Italian culture this perimeter wall is one of the most defining elements of any "graveyard"; it separates an inside from an outside, minimizing external interferences with the architecture of the cemetery.
The project accompanies spaces of meditation and memory with views of the landscape. It offers a dimension for the soul in which architecture sets the stage for silent contemplation.
The project uses essentially two materials: stone and plaster.
The buildings are designed as filiform monolithic volumes clad in roughhewn stone in a variety of colours. It is used “sparingly” and the joints between stones are intentionally left open. The resulting vertical cuts define a sort of macro barcode.
The building interiors (the "belly") are in concrete and grey plaster.
The territory is the result of continuous interventions and processes of manipulation and transformation that mix the natural with the artificial; the surface is a text impressed with the stratification of stories and events. This extremely varied surface (dunes, reliefs, folds, tears, cuts) is the result of distortions and dislocations in time and space, reflecting the succession of multiple socioeconomic actions over time. Architecture remains an interstitial intervention, a work of "infiltration" in which the modelling of the ground is an unstable and revealing component of new emerging forms of space.