Umbria in 2006 was a growing tapestry of private properties, gradually transformating from an agricultural setting to a real estate park. The project proposes moving the hospital in Perugia to a more peripheral location, creating the opportunity to offset this trend with a new hilltop village including housing, offices, hotels, retail and public spaces.
Moving the former Policlinico di Monteluce in Perugia to a more peripheral location creates the opportunity to offset this trend. Settling the majority of the proposed private functions on the slopes liberates the summit and provides the citizens with a new Parco Monteluce. The hilltop is the perfect setting for the more public elements (the existing monuments, the shops and retail, the hotel, the conference centre) of the project’s programme.
The positioning of the new public functions in and adjoining the existing monuments forms a series of public spaces that reinforce the sequence of piazzas and squares in the existing city. The current square in front of the convent is a messy affair of parked cars and drop-off areas. A new underground car park allows the square to open up and to become a pedestrian area.
The monumental parts of the convent are renovated and put to use by the health centre (possibly also retail). A new building is added which houses the hotel, conference centre, restaurants and shops. Together the buildings form an intimate piazza with a vibrant atmosphere: the Patio del Convento. Lobbies and roof terraces interact with the city; hotel rooms offer views of the landscape. The addition to the convent is built of natural stone. The windows are designed as small loggias.
The top of the hill is kept as open as possible. Trees provide shadow and shelter for benches and tables. The surrounding houses are kept low so the view from the park is unobstructed. Steps connect the park to its surroundings; there are raised areas with broad borders to sit on, like amphitheatres. Natural stone is to be used in different areas of the park and the steps.
The different kinds of stone match the colour of the new convent structures, thus blending the buildings in with the park. Most of the housing is positioned on the slopes to the south, the residents benefit from the view and the sun. The housing is composed of small units, allowing owners to construct in phases.
The irregular placement due to variations in heights and views creates an intriguing maze of streets and piazza’s. Different volumes create different typologies of housing: social, private, student. They are to be clad with different types of natural stone from Italy, creating abstract volumes – a different type of stone for every building, forming a rich collection. The southern slope transforms into a new neighbourhood.