(re)Living Ardauli 

Landmark recovery, urban renovation and domestic space in a small town of Barigadu


Thesis MA Architecture | Politecnico di Milano, 2013




I believe that this project corresponds to a significant starting point in my current research. I have been working on it for almost one year, including a prior phase of research about “ghost towns”, which represent a widely spread condition of things in our urban and rural environment.

My thesis had specifically involved a small inland Sardinian town, which I look at as an emblematic “exemplar” of those towns above-mentioned.



Living in Sardinia presents particular aspects of interest coming from the dialectics between conditions of difficulty and great potential.

In the first case there is the weary economy, historical and political event, often unfavourable and marked by a colonial logic, the awkward relations in the country and the weakness of the infrastructure. In the second one the incredible wealth of geographical, environmental and archeological elements is undeniable.

Natural landscapes and environment hold the primary position but also the land’s architecture has an essential importance. This doesn’t refer solely to monuments but also the architectural harmony in which man has installed and transformed the land through constructed artifacts. Both of the above-mentioned can be considered the materialisation of our history and the inheritance for future generations.

In Sardinia the landscape is a fundamental reference for all the settlements, which, as noted, formulate in cities, small centres and towns. These demand an even greater attention on account of not being that rarified to become their own landscape they need to directly confront the outlook.

In the last few years a process of abandonment, depopulation and a degradation of the small-inhabited centres of the hinterland have risen. Barigadu, one of the historical regions of Sardinia, not unrelated to this dynamic, was inserted in the network of the Gruppi di Azione Locale (Local Action Group) which, values the resources of each component aiming to revitalise the region, offering new ideas and incentives for a competitive economy.

In order to recompose a habitat, which already appears frayed and fragmented it is necessary to conduct a network operation, both on a territorial and an urban scale. The work in the borders of the landscape and of that constructed has involved three projects on Ardauli, with the intent to generate a new image for the area, characterised by a strong identity and with an exacted grade of variety, able to offer new conditions of well-living and to rediscover the attraction of the site.

The network develops from the banks of Lake Omodeo along a new waterfront, passing through a fitted waterway through the valley, and concludes in three theories of transformation of the constructed, of the isolated scale and that of the single manufactured. The thesis develops and investigates this final theme, focusing on the urban scale.