Basic building: plan for a fabric


Residencial buildings, also called basic-buildings, are predominant in our towns. As such they contribute in a preponderant way to define their quality, not just for the aesthetic characters of the single houses but mainly for the way they aggregate into the building tissues that form the urban organism.
There is a substantial difference between ‘traditional’ building tissues and today’s aggregations. The former are more or less organically structured systems which, in sectors at least, and in spite of the transformations operated in them by time, can still be clearly individualized, and in them it is still possible to recognize the strict relationships between the road system, tissue and building type, according to levels of organization of different wealth and complexity. The latter, on the contrary, both in the case of scattered single building settlements, or of additions by successive ‘planned’ quarters, very seldom reach beyond minimum levels of organization. In fact, the ‘lottings’ effected for the single interventions leave totally free space to the inventiveness of the single architect for what concerns the more concrete architectural aspects, while seldom consenting to produce anything better than occasional arrangements; on the other hand, even in the case of planned quarters, often by an illustrious architect, the problem of an occasional urban order is there again, often even more serious and at a higher scale: in those cases the town becomes the simple addition of single, self-centered quarters, only seldom part of a larger and structured whole.
A quality level of the urban environment that may be compared to traditional towns can be recovered, in our opinion, only starting from a scale superior to the architectural one, that is, the building scale, concerning the plurality and the contemporary presence of more buildings in the same context. The architectural identification of the single building becomes of secondary importance, while our attention is focused on its capacity to be part of a whole and on its aggregative attitude to form a tissue