This project aims to conduct research along with design proposal of Santa Maria del Soccorso, partially destroyed in WWII and left as a ruin, in Palermo, Italy, by RE-ACTIVATING this historical site through building an INTER-CULTURAL NODE (ICN) to develop a social incubator which can both utilize the tangible heritage remains and intangible historical value to provide a place for a collision of all kinds of cultures from locals and diverse migrants and collaborating together in creative expression and dialogue on joint projects within shared ethical bounds and social integration.
The site has been identified as strategic for the implementation of series of spatial practices that function as a civic centre and simultaneously promote the intercultural interaction between the different local and migrant communities to build up the common territories for people who have different backgrounds yet mutual curiosity, empathy, and understanding. Furthermore, the design of these semi-public spaces should emphasize on an ambiguous balance between Multiculturality and Interculturality. Also, the necessity of different spaces that would be mainly devoted to each of the different cultural identities, where the self-awareness of one’s community identity from, enabling ways of engagement with others.
The comprehensive articulation of these sequences of spaces will be conceived as a fractal of urban fabric: high streets, market, piazzas, lanes, galleries, courtyards, with different degree of openness and privacy, along with objective physical conditions, such as ventilation, permeability, natural light, and material atmosphere. In addition, The use of stairs in important nodes of the site connects different spaces, making the space more accessible and increasing people’s choices: people in the same space have different perspectives and can observe the activities of people in different spaces through “pores”. This design not only enhances the interesting interaction between people but also enlarges the space possibilities. The design of the pores provides users with privacy and openness. One more important thing is that the staging process where the user’s engagement is taking place, which would bring potential also challenges to future development.