Jaramillo-Azuero Architects propose environmental learning centre as part of Solar Park South competition

All images are by Jaramillo-Azuero Architects

The colombian firm Jaramillo-Azuero Architects (J-A) have proposed a plan to transform a series of old Italian viaducts into a network of state-of-the-art, sustainable energy education and research centres. The proposal was showcased at the “Solar Park South” international competition, which sought new ideas to re-use the viaducts instead of spending 40 million euros to demolish them. The J-A proposal features community-centered parks, a wave-powered rail line and sustainable energy research facilities. All based on the philosophy that education itself is the most valuable green commodity of all.

Autostrada del Sole (A3 Salerno – Reggio Calabria Highway) is a remote section of highway along Italy’s Sicilian coast and has been in a state of decommission for over ten years. The local municipalities of Scilla and Bagnara, in conjunction with newitalianblood.com, created the “Solar Park South” international competition to “stimulate concrete ideas and revolutionary proposals for the reuse of the soon to be decommissioned highway”. The brief asked participants to come up with a way to creatively reuse the old sections of the highway (particularly the viaducts) and to be sustainable and environmentally conscious.

All the competition entries demonstrated innovative and sustainable designs (please check out the Solar Park South link below to see them) – but what set the J-A entry apart for us was the simple idea that education could be a sustainable form of energy — one that could form the very foundation of a world-class environmental research and education centre. We believe merely questioning sustainable issues and coming up with ideas for solutions is a step in the right direction – so even though the proposal came third, the firm still put forward revolutionary ideas that will inspire, educate and influence other people – a sample it’s own meaning – fantastic!

Here’s more information about the proposal from the architects:

Among all known renewable energies the most efficient and the only one of its kind capable of regenerating infinitely producing “zero environmental harm” is EDUCATION. This type of energy is an inexhaustible supply of knowledge that spreads from person to person covering vast extensions of area resulting in massive social, environmental and economical progress. This is why SOLAR PARK SOUTH should be a worldwide focal point in the development of GREEN EDUCATION. By this we mean, to edify a park where civic participation and nature are the main construction materials, as we promote that the A3 Salerno Highway between Scilla and Bagnara Calabra section transform into a Seeding Green Education Research Centre. SOLAR PARK SOUTH is a place that encourages inhabitants to play a part in the construction as they have the possibility to transform it, creating an intervention Public space that belongs to everyone as it grows in relation to the appropriation of the individuals who act on it.

SEEDING GREEN EDUCATION is the attitude which best describes SOLAR PARK SOUTH, for that reason this intervention establishes three main goals to accomplish this purpose. First of all, to set up a connection between Scilla and Bagnara Calabra throughout a multi-mobility circuit that simultaneously will conform and protect what is established as natural reserve. Secondly to enhance progress in a very big extension of territory within simple overpowering approaches as civic education and the implementation of native vegetation reproduction as the main design strategy. Finally utilize this old highway as a detonator for the development of a larger extension of territory combining conflictive topics as renewable energy technologies, new mobility systems and economic development, all at once.

For further information please visit:

Jaramillo-Azuero Architects – http://www.newitalianblood.com/solarparksouth/projects/80-1.html

Solar Park South – http://www.newitalianblood.com/solarparksouth/

New Italian Blood – www.newitalianblood.com