OTRANTO URBAN REGENERATION WORKSHOP
1979 – 1979, OTRANTO, ITALY
The Laboratorio di Quartiere, or District Workshop, was a UNESCO-supported project aimed at the renovation of historic town centres through a mechanism to safeguard their physical aspect: a permanent worksite. The project in Otranto was used to test the feasibility of using local artisans to restore an ancient town centre. The plan allowed residents to remain in their homes and actively participate in the restoration work, thanks to the use of compact, non-invasive and innovative technology. Although the workshop left the town once its mission had been completed, as an independent studio, its work could continue as a travelling model to be adapted based on its sensitivity to the context in which it was activated. The concept of building on what is already there, of being willing to listen, and patiently renovating and repairing the fabric of a town is an idea which is just as valid today for the outskirts of a town as its centre.