Mediterranean Migration. A new state of being and building

Dr. Susanna Pisciella, (IUAV University Venice, Italy)

The cathedral of Solomon is the negative of the usual idea of a cathedral. Not a magnificent architectural mass, but a stately cavity. The island of Lampedusa itself becomes architecture. Its interior empties and its rocky body opens to welcome the barges coming from Africa. Its sunny cliff becomes the back of the New World. Its depths often become immense marine cemeteries without return. A great ark of salvation, in solitary expectation, in the Mediterranean. From the cathedral starts the slow ascent path, leading to the top. To Europe, where the Old World becomes the New World.

The project sediments the human tragedy in thought and, in turn, in an architectural place that brings the entire European cultural tradition back into play through three fundamental notions for architecture: the work, the place, the person. Three assumptions today destroyed by the dissolution of form, de-territorialization and de-personalization. Migrants import abandonment and loneliness into Europe. They challenge contemporary monotheism of Technique, its idea of progress, and remix the complex cultural cartography of Western tradition. So they are not just bodies that can be managed through numbers and statistics, as they carry interiorities that are cultural worlds profoundly different and that one day in any case we will be forced to face.

Susanna Pisciella obtained her PhD in 2011 at the Iuav University of Venice, where she still conducts research activity, in addition to the profession of architect. She worked at the UNIPR universities of Parma, HCU of Hamburg, Pontifical of Santiago de Chile. She deals with the topic of cultural roots of the architectural project and landscape. Last book: S. Pisciella, Peter Eisenman, Gher-Ghar, Mimesis Ed. 2018. She collaborates with the magazines IQD and Architecture and Culture.