ARCò – architettura e cooperazione, Italy
ARCò is a cooperative founded in 2012 by a group of architects and engineers dedicated to the production of sustainable architecture and landscape design. Its projects are based on the constant pursuing of social, economical and environmental sustainability. For this reason, ARCò explores the local traditional techniques, in order to guarantee that the construction phase can be run independently by the communities involved.
Sustainability is an important part of its practice. This issue is addressed in different ways: in a social sense by seeking different techniques suitable to the specific sites of action and enabling self-construction processes; in an economic sense through the choice of the building techniques and using recycled and/or recyclable materials; in an environmental sense through the use of renewable energy sources and passive bioclimatic architecture principles. A fundamental goal for every project is the transmission of knowledge and skills through a process of capacity building of techniques and principles which have always been present in the local historical context.
This approach has brought ARCò into the world of international cooperation, where it can use its skills to face and solve the different issues of humanitarian emergency.
Its architectural approach has been developed in both academic and practical manners. Its members were co-coordinators of the master program “Sustainable Architecture – Smart Building and Urban Innovation” with the IED – Instituto Europeo di Design. The president of the cooperative, Alessio Battistella, was member of Scientific Committee – Master Paesaggistraodinari – at NABA (New Academy of Fine Arts of Milan) / Polytechnic of Milan and at the moment he is Track Director of the course entitled “Right to Quality Shelter” at SOS School of Sustainability. Additionally, the members of ARCò have conducted researches in the fields of sustainable architecture, renewable energy production, public space and landscape, which had nourished their academic practice.
ARCò has also organised different practical and theoretical workshops in Italy and abroad, to explore building techniques using different natural and recycled materials in order to analyse the material’s performance and its application in the field. These workshops have been done in collaboration with several entities, such as the IED of Torino, EcoWeek, University of Pavia and Politecnico di Milano, Politecnico di Torino among others. This led ARCò to include a practical phase in its teaching methodology, allowing it to involve not only students but the local community and, at the end, improving the experience.
#6 DESIGN AND BUILD WITH ØKM (LOCAL AND RECYCLED MATERIALS)
Alessio Battistella, Project Management and Research