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PORTO DI RIPA GRANDE MARKETPLACE

Location: Rome, Italy
Type: Civic, Retail

Rome, Italy has a significant population of Romani gypsies (Roma). These refugees face discrimination by local citizens and are forced to endure substandard living conditions in isolated encampments. Gypsies make their livelihood through street performances, bartering and theft. Interestingly, there are some parallels between the city’s tourists and the Roma - both groups have a parasitic relationship with the city and each other. This is most apparent in public markets. A purposefully designated ‘gypsy marketplace’ was conceived as an architectural intervention to raise awareness about the problems afflicting the Roma population. The proposed site is along the Tiber River at the Porto Di Ripa Grande which was historically used as a port and goods storage. The design includes the construction of a pedestrian-only bridge and the reuse of several underutilized barges serving as a public marketplace with warehouse storage for Roma merchants.

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