"Modern" suburbs in lockdown: the INA CASA neighbourhood by Filippo Rovigo in Messina

Luigi Calabrese, Guido Di Bella, Ornella Fiandaca, Fabio Minutoli, Raffaella Lione, Marina Arena, Fabio Todesco


The recent CoViD-19 emergency, a dramatic issue for our health, and the vexata quaestio of the existing buildings recovery, especially of the neighborhood, are the ends of an Ariadne's thread that must help us find an exit from the two huge problems. These issues, coupled by the isolation constrain, can be converted in a great opportunity by using targeted choices, supported by sustainability criteria that are now unavoidable.

In the present paper, a specific suburban area- former Fondo Basile by architect Filippo Rovigo, on the northern edge of Messina was selected. For this area - following the original indications formulated by the emerging "neorealist" culture for garden cities – we intend: to redefine barrier-free paths; to add green and blue infrastructures; to evaluate incidences on energy performance; to redesign interior spaces to accept the need for sterilization and “flexible” furnishings; to experiment with functionalized surfaces (self-cleaning, antibacterial, heat-insulating); to introduce ad hoc home automation.

Therefore, it is necessary to start from a very serious accident on which we stumbled exploiting this experience in order to look at the virus as an opportunity for a general rebirth of the neighbourhood. This latter can be based on new or experimental concepts in order to allow a sustainable restoration of the Modern Architecture, addressed to the second post-war period heritage, not guaranteed by the constrained regime provided for by the Cultural Heritage Code. This possibility is back in the fore thanks to a more recent strategic direction for the protection of "new landscapes" promoted by the Regional Department for Sicilian culture and identity.


Messina; Modern Architecture; social housing; CoViD-19; lockdown

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