Vele di Scampia
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The Sails of Scampia homes were built in the homonymous district of the city of Naples between 1962 and 1975. They were named for their triangular shape, reminiscent of a sail (wide at the base, narrowing as they rise). Constructions of a similar appearance, but better kept-up, are Villeneuve-Loubet in France, which are visible in the photos of the French city. That complex is called Marina Baie des Anges.
Built as a result of Law 167, passed in 1962, the seven Sails of Scampia (designed by Franz Di Salvo) were part of a project which also included development of the city of Naples to the east, in Ponticelli. They remain, despite everything, the work carried out which best represents the architectural poetics of Franz Di Salvo. Di Salvo's debut in popular, but low-cost, architectural design dates back to 1945 with the completion, in collaboration with other architects, of the District of Cesare Battisti Poggioreale, which then represented the paradigm of a "new way of thinking" about social housing.
After years of continuous design experiments, the task of establishing a large apartment complex in Scampia was entrusted to the Cassa del Mezzogiorno. Inspired by the principles of Les unités d'habitations of Le Corbusier, by the "a cavalletto" structures proposed by Kenzo Tange, and, more generally, by macro-structural models, Di Salvo articulated a plan of the district which was baed on two building types: a "tower" and "tent." The latter type provides the dominant image of all the sails, which are characterized (in sectional view) by the combination of two buildings with tilted lamellar construction, separated by a large central space through the long galleries suspended between the levels of the housing units. They were also provided with social centers, a play space, and other community facilities. Failure to fulfill this "core of socialization was certainly a contributory cause of failure.
Although it is true that the technical quality and aesthetics of the Sails are beyond dispute, is also undeniable that they are "uninhabitable," for reasons that go beyond architecture.
The failure of urban rationalism: Le Vele today
The Sails of Scampia buildings are in a state of decay, although the two buildings are still occupied by residents.
The idea behind the project was to provide a huge housing settlements where hundreds of families can integrate and create a community. With rail tracks and large park areas between the different sails, the planners wanted to create a small city model with large parks, playing fields and other facilities, and multiple-lane roads.
However, various causes have led to what is now established as a ghetto. Right after the earthquake in 1980, many families in the area were left homeless. Many of these families without shelter started to occupy the apartments illegally. Tolerated and ignored by the government, more people started to occupy the buildings including criminals.
Things are made worse by the total lack of state presence, the first Police station for the area was established in 1987, exactly fifteen years after people began occupying the apartments. Things are constantly getting worse as its parks became a meeting point for drug transactions, the streets for illegal street racing, and the corridors and terraces teeming with gangsters.
The complex was designed by the Italian architect Franz di Salvo and was part of a more extensive housing plan which also included the development of Ponticelli, a neighbourhood of eastern Naples. In designing the complex, the architect drew inspiration from Le Corbusier and Kenzo Tange.
Le Vele and cinema
Le Vele and literature
Le Vele Scampia also occupy space in the literature: Emanuele Cerullo (1993), A resident of one of the sails, he described, through poetry, dreams and hopes of adolescents Scampia, Showing a different view of reality than the media, which, unlike Cerullo, describe outside he describes the Scampia from.
Gerald Seymour's 2009 novel The Collaborator uses The Sail as the setting for its denouement.