A small pavilion built on the remains of the Artemision: a medium to the Ionic temple in the heart of the island of Ortigia, Siracusa. The [silent] monument leads to the buried area where once stood the Acropolis of the ancient Greek city.
Silent, because the main elevation is simple and linear. Materials and colors are familiar to the surrounding buildings, the height is respectful of the square’s skyline. This monument has no intention of being noticed, it only aims to be a good medium. A medium between an international architectural language and local tradition; between contemporary architecture and archaeology.
The building area is about 200 sqm, but below the ground level are an extra 1000 sqm. Inside, materials and lighting are a contemporary re-elaboration of the ancient hypogeum (latin for “below the ground”). A continuous layer of limestone blocks, interrupted only by a vertical cut.
Except for the relationship with its contextual buildings and with the city, one other crucial aspect of the design is how it relates to the site itself and to its history: any time a site is historically layered, the architect bears the responsibility to design a building that will recall and show the essence of the area above which it rises. The pavilion in Siracusa addresses most of these issues in its section.
Urban requalification and tourism relaunch are some of Siracusa’s targets: in the last few years the city has worked hard in this direction, and it continues to do so. Infact, with a large program of conservation and renovation projects under way, Siracusa shows that it understands the importance of the past while also being able to evolve and keep up with time.