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Publication - April 2004


Architectural Design Seminar. Scientific coordinator: Prof. Marcello Panzarella. Tutor: Prof. Emanuele Palazzotto. Theme: The thickness of the border.
The project intends to respond to the needs of the Cinisi Administration and the reference target of the Falcone-Borsellino Airport Administration, providing these public and private bodies with some services / products, which make it possible to facilitate decision-making processes in territorial management. and architectural and environmental assets, with the ultimate aim of improving the quality of management itself, to help shape a sustainable tourism development that creates new income and employment.
In summary, the goal is to infrastructure those "places in between", areas that unite but also separate, in the "thickness of the border" identifiable between the airport and the city.
It is precisely in this marginal space that all those vital connections for an orderly development are missing, that is, a “backbone” that systemates the components already present is missing. This "backbone" must therefore contain a series of services / products, whose purpose is to increase the know-how of the administrations operating in the management of the territory, seen as a precondition for emancipating these administrations from an inevitable state of unproductivity of the wide-ranging reasoning, with the implicit objective of allowing, in the best possible conditions, the desired expansion of the annual flow of passengers gravitating to the Falcone-Borsellino.
The design solution adopted by our working group seeks a high level in terms of innovation, technology, process analysis and sustainability in the regional context. It takes into account the current configuration of the airport grounds, narrow at the borders and very elongated, resulting in a solution that is underlined in the project by a markedly linear element, identified in a mechanized pedestrian path, a mobile road, partially covered, which connects some nodal elements , serves to separate the “air” side from the “land” one and also allows arriving or departing passengers, while waiting for the boarding call, to walk around and enjoy the various public and private services.
Assuming the state of affairs as a contradictory system, however to be accepted, with all the resulting difficulties, it was decided to limit as much as possible any demolition of buildings already built or obsessively parceled out expropriations in the portion of the territory available for new interventions; these interventions therefore find their settlement area in the available spaces of greater extension, tangent to the edge of the runway and starting from the new mechanized connection system.
The project aims to reactivate the connections with the western side of Sicily, therefore with Trapani and, of course, with Cinisi and Terrasini, modifying the access methods and creating a new car terminal also aimed at airport users from the West. New continuity is given to the routes also thanks to the single excavation of a multi-level underpass tunnel, which allows both the flow along the two directions by means of a conveyor belt (treadmill), and the connections for the loading and unloading of goods through a dedicated shuttle, but also the continuation of the underground railway line (towards Cinisi and Terrasini), currently interrupted at the sea side of the terminal.
The design program, thanks to the system offered by the Tapis roulant, defines a composite building (or rather a system of buildings) in continuous motion, where the activated services intersect and exchange (between the airport and the more or less neighboring area) by the flow of men and goods that daily mark the rhythms of the entire airport structure.
The four stages of this system are identified in the following project nuclei: the intermodal center, the reception center, the shopping center, the maintenance center.