THE THREE BEACONS
Recalling the time when the defensive complex had a solid function inside of the society, other than that of a sole cultural one, before it lost significance with the introduction of gunpowder artillery into the war scene, and losing complete importance with the transition from the Medieval to the Renaissance era. Following the absolute Florentine domination in Tuscany, the need for inner-regional defensive structures was lost. This led to the Rocca’s and the surrounding hamlet’s abandon, the latter of which not existing today; as people who once lived just on the outskirts of the castle for defensive and survival purposes, decided to settle in the valley next to the Serchio for better access to economic means, agglomerating the village of Ripafratta of today. The medieval need of defense for survival is today substituted with that of cultural & economic appreciation(again for survival); and this requires the introduction of new functions in the context, closely related to the pre-existent.
The answer to how to make the Three Beacons (fortress of Ripafratta, towers of Niccolai and Centino) ‘shine’ again in a metaphorical sense, as they once did literally (to maintain communication over long distances with other defensive structures and people in a short time) lies in the question itself; with the help of a retrospective analysis (question) and contemporary design (answer). The design therefore, retains important the particular characteristics which the defensive complex possessed in relation to its context (landscape, positioning, nearby towns etc) before its abandon, be respected and reinterpreted; creating a strong bond between the historical human necessities leading to their creation of architecture for survival, and the necessities of today; thus comunicating back in time itself.
ekip: Alkan Makinabakan, Denizhan Erinekçi, Erkin Yaşar Çerik