Taranto Calling, the project of the team led by Stefano Boeri Architetti for the OpenTaranto competition, is among the 3 short-listed winners. The competition, promoted in 2016 by Invitalia, aims to the renewal of Taranto’s historic centre, the Old Town, an island between two seas, with great potentialities but basically abandoned.
Taranto’s Old Town, just like its Cathedral, is a time/space mosaic of ages and projects. A mosaic made up of Hellenic heritage, medieval buildings, Renaissance architectures, fishermen’s houses, commercial hamlets, Baroque churches, docks and modern additions.
Taranto’s Old Town is a palimpsest of works and architectures, left behind by history in a plot of land. A historic area dense with buildings and palaces rising from the sea.
An island made of stone, cut by the narrow breaches of streets and squeezed between the walls and the docks. A monolith surrounded by the sea, carved in caves and passages connecting, along vertical axes, roofs, terraces and the sea level.
Taranto’s Old Town is a living mosaic, as well as the hundred coastal towns in the Mediterranean Sea, crossed by the lives of women and men; by a flow of generations with their own different intensity; by the arrival of boats and ships; hit by the wind and lit by the sun.
Taranto’s Old Town is the mosaic of all the urban landscapes featuring the Mediterranean Sea. An island/town that encompasses, in just a few hundred square metres, between two seas, the inlay of all the coastal and port cities in the Mediterranean Sea. Its power is embodied in its stones, in the memories of ages, lives, cultures, religions, traditions and habits they keep.
But Taranto and its Old Town’s ransom is not a gesture of goodwill, political charity, social assistance or cultural archaeology. It’s the ransom of a whole world of relations, exchanges, utopias crossing an entire geopolitical basin.