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Viale Giulini Affordable Housing

Pleasant Housing for a Pleasant Living

Alvisi Kirimoto

Viale Giulini Affordable Housing
By Caterina Testa -

Barletta is a small city on the Adriatic coast in the southern Italian region of Puglia. Not so much a maritime city, Barletta has always been more connected to its agricultural hinterland and the numerous industries and construction companies that grew up nearby.
The many activities and businesses that gradually sprung up in the urban area have, however, parceled the city into myriad different quarters.

To the north, a tight web of sheds and warehouses stretches along the road towards the nearby town of Trani. To the east of the old town with its castle looking out to sea, a paper factory and cement plant loom over the urban landscape. Further on, the city continues as a compact sequence of small social housing blocks built over the last ten years, known as “Zone 167” after the law ushering in subsidized housing programs.

Taking on a project in this urban kaleidoscope means deciding whether to go along with the agglomerated urban fabric or opt to step outside the architectural confusion with a more restrained, sober program. The subsidized housing block built in the Zone 167 by Rome-based architecture practice Alvisi Kirimoto is a peaceful, quiet, self-contained presence in the midst of the loud, often garish buildings around.

The plot of the new building occupies half a large square city block. The north façade faces onto the new thoroughfare, Viale Giulini, while the inner court looks southward. The designers aimed to wed the macro-urban scale with the domestic dimension, the goal of a broader revitalization program for the whole district that includes the new Parco dell’Umanità to the east and a furnished pedestrian walkway designed by the firm ABDR Architetti Associati.

While complying with the masterplan’s volume and alignment guidelines, the block by Alvisi Kirimoto stands apart from its immediate surrounds for the self-contained sobriety it exudes.
Its uncluttered...

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