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Long radius of influence : designing focal points in Turin

Palandri, Francesca

Long radius of influence : designing focal points in Turin.

Rel. Silvia Malcovati, Christian Rapp, Haike Apelt. Politecnico di Torino / Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Costruzione Città, 2015


During the Atlas work one element among others was evident. The recent urban developments lead to cities with a low quality and low structure, due to speculation and urban sprawl. To address the problem the different city components have been analyzed in this thesis. This analysis was performed in order to understand which elements contribute to a properly functioning and high quality urban structure. In the first place two urban organization systems were taken into account, grid-patterns and polycentric focal point based organization. Subsequently other fundamental elements were analyzed besides the urban structure constituted by patterns and focal points. These elements are the interest points. Interest points may have high complexity levels since they can be meeting point of different scales and because of the presence of different services and externalities. In order to raise urban structure quality it is necessary to identify those points of the city, which have a ruling role over the rest and constitute a reference for people. It was then necessary to outline a criterion to select these points so the Radius of Influence was defined. A Radius of Influence allows defining the prevailing scale of a point of interest.

The Radius of Influence is used to identify a special kind of point, called focal point. Focal points are those points of interests that have a long radius of influence and have as predominant scale the urban one. These points, if connected in a network and designed with a morphological quality, compose an orientating structure, which enables to improve the quality of the city and highlights its specific character. Several traditions set principles to built a dominant urban structure. In this thesis the Baroque principles were chosen because Baroque was very incisive in Turin’s expansion and it has left a strong cast for its further development. Perception was a fundamental aspect in the design of a Baroque city. The deep integration between infrastructure and architecture was another lesson learnt from the baroque city planning as well as the use of a specific set of tools. Introducing baroque planning in contemporary Turin it is necessary to notice that there is a huge difference between the distance and the speed people experiment living the contemporary city compared to the past. To use effectually Baroque principles it is necessary to move to a different scale, to different space dimensions, to a different speed of perception and last but not least there is a different social structure with its new set of values. An important aspect of reintroducing Baroque planning in modern Turin is to work on developing a close relation between architecture and infrastructure, where infrastructural projects are often not integrated with architecture.

To apply the theoretical study a focal point project exercise was carried out in Piazza Baldissera area. Piazza Baldissera is an important infrastructural node along the Turin high development potential Central Spine. This project exercise dealt with an intermodal station and an underground commercial space in the middle of the node. The identification of several scales emphasized the importance to recoup a multiple level architecture.

Relators: Silvia Malcovati, Christian Rapp, Haike Apelt
Publication type: Printed
Subjects: A Architettura > AF Buildings and equipment for leisure, social activities, sport
U Urbanistica > UK Pianificazione urbana
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Costruzione Città
Classe di laurea: UNSPECIFIED
Aziende collaboratrici: UNSPECIFIED
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/4301


0.1 Context

0.2 Abstract

Chapter l_City Layers

1.1 Atlas

1.2 Patterns

1.3 Focal Points

1.4 Complex city

1.5 Scales

The Research Question

Chapter 2_Long R.I. network

2.1 Radius of Influence

2.1.1 Origins and definitions

2.1.2 R.I. and poly-centricity in Turin

2.2 Points of interest

2.2.1 Points of interest in Turin

2.2.2 Innovative methods

2.3 Focal Points individuation

Chapter 3_Learning from the baroque

3.1 Ordering structure

3.2 Baroque city planning tools

3.3 Introducing baroque planning in contemporary Turin

3.4 Architecture and infrastructure

Chapter 4_The node design

4.1 The area choice: Piazza Baldissera

4.2 Piazza Baldissera history

4.3 Piazza Baldissera infrastructure issues

4.4 Masterplan

Chapter 5_Architecture design

5.1 Hybrid building

5.2 The facade

5.3 Ground and underground floors

5.4 Tower floors

5.5 Materials


Answering Research Question and Subquestions

Conclusive considerations

Image References and Bibliography




Patterns, Focal Points and Scales

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Radius of Influence

Christaller, Walter (1933) Die zentralen Orte in Suddeutschland. Gustav Fischer, Jena, english translation Central places in southern Germany.

De Matteis G. (1966) Le località centrali nella geografia urbana di Torino, Università degli studi di Torino, Facoltà di Economia e Commercio, Torino

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Kostof, S. (1991) The City Shaped. Urban Patterns and Meanings Through History, Thames and Hudson, London

Jung W. (2004) L’architettura e la città in Italia tra i primordi dell’età barocca e primo classicismo, in Toman R. edited by (2004) Il Barocco. Architettura-Scultura-Pittura, editore Gribaudo-Konemann, italian version of Toman (1997) Die Kunst des Barock. Architektur, Skulptur, Malerei. Koenemann, Koeln

Panzini F. (2005) Progettare la Natura. Architettura del paesaggio e dei giardini dalle origini all’epoca contemporanea, Zanichelli editore S.p.A, Bologna


Fenton J. (1985) Pamphlet 11: Hybrid Buildings, Princeton Architectural Press, New York

Patterns, Focal Poinllar A., Elinbaum P„ Vali P. (2013) Esc en el aprendizaje del urbanismo, Universidad Inter, Available atf Influence

Atorino F., (2005) Dall’rocedura di supporto alla definizione delle attrezzatururbaterritoriale, Supervisor Domenico Pianese,Federico II”

Laboratorio di Alta Qualità - Proinee dirtimento di Progettazione Architettonica

Dne del sottosuolo : il tunnel di via Stradella a Torino, lo Sampieri, Polytechnic of Turin

Web Sites

Radius of Influence

Space sintax, http://www.laq-tip.polito.it/, last retrieved 18/09/2015

Patterns, Focal Points and Scales, and Design

httD://www.museotorino.it/, last retrieved 18/09/2015

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