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We wanted to develop the abandoned and polluted ex-military Arsenale site into a big multi-functional nautical centre, which would be able to host building sites, a convention centre, sailing schools and a hotel as well as shopping and exhibition areas.All this in an area with extraordinary seabeds that is also one of the most beautiful settings in the world.There was no central direction of the work or central coordination of the planning side, and we were also excluded from the metric calculations (we were only allowed to use this as a backup for the architectural side of things).Whenever the clients came to visit we would make an attempt to impose our presence and our ideas.
It is not always easy to develop general arguments through the use of introspection.
And I was also there during the final months of the project, with Bertolaso on his return to the Island, after his successful effort to bring the Louis Vuitton Sailing Cup tournament to the site.
And, finally, I was around when a series of articles in La Repubblica newspaper criticised the poor state of the building sites (articles which were not a reflection of reality) and when the judicial enquiries began and our clients were arrested. In La Maddalena there had been no sense of lavishness which might have caused offense in a country which had been affected by the disaster of the earthquake.
There is no doubt that the buildings we constructed reflected a kind of ‘extra’ effort, which was also an attempt to avoid the usual clichés linked to geopolitical and global events.
We were trying to be anti-celebratory, we were looking to create minimalist spaces, with forms of non-muscular monumentality, and our work was inspired more by the context of the archipelago’s landscape than by the ceremonial aspects of the G8.
NOTES ON LA MADDALENA by Stefano Boeri Over the last few weeks the whole of the last twenty months has constantly been present in my mind.