Futur-e gets with the programme at the New York Institute of Technology

Published on Tuesday, 11 December 2018

The Futur-e project is getting with the programme in New York. In October, Enel Global Thermal Generation Head of Business Development Europe, Marco Fragale, presented the Enel scheme that is breathing new life into decommissioned power stations to a group of students from the New York Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture and Design. In so doing, he helped launch a special course that focuses on the regeneration of industrial areas.  

For the fall 2018/spring 2019 semester, NYIT Professors Beyhan Karahan and Giovanni Santamaria will be giving a course for a select group of graduate students that will investigate possible environmental and reuse scenarios, including those with a cultural emphasis, for decommissioned Enel power stations. Each student will complete a research study of the area surrounding a particular power station and will investigate in-depth its potential for development, as well as the resulting economic and environmental impacts for the local community. All of the course participants will also have to prepare practical proposals for the future of the selected sites, and the work done will be presented and discussed as an architectural thesis.

“Enel’s Futur-e project is a great opportunity for our students, who will be visiting some of the former power stations and the mining area included in the regeneration projects. They’ll be able to see first-hand the industrial heritage and the assets involved, and then develop their own solutions,” commented Professors Beyhan Karahan and Giovanni Santamaria. “Futur-e is absolutely unique at a global level in terms of its large-scale application of industrial zone regeneration with a focus on the circular economy and sustainability of various kinds. This is a challenge that is set to become increasingly important in international terms and will require the involvement of professionals such as the students we’re now training in the New York Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture and Design.”

Themes such as the circular economy and sustainability, as well as the guidelines for the repurposing process outlined by Futur-e were also discussed in-depth with the students. Initial research and investigations of the selected sites of some of the Futur-e programme power stations that will be studied, were also presented. The selected power plants – Bari, La Spezia, Montalto di Castro, Porto Tolle – and the Santa Barbara mining area were examined by the students, beginning with an analysis of their productive and economic role, as well as their spatial qualities within the specific local settings. The graduate students will propose reuse strategies for existing structures and buildings, and integrate those strategies with their potential to become regenerators and catalysts in a process of transformation within contexts that have significant environmental and cultural value, even if they are located in areas that are very different from one another.

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