project year: 2017
location: Reserve ‘Bosco e Paludi di Rauccio’ , Lecce
designer team: CAPers group
The Research Institute is situated under a historical fortified farmhouse, masseria of Rauccio, which represents the heart of the ‘Bosco e Paludi di Rauccio’ regional natural reserve. The new building, carved into limestone rock as ancient underground olive presse, links the new volumes to those of ancient mansion up to the roof of watchtower. On the top the new observatory dominates the area monitoring the expansion of Xylella infection such as Saracen incursions in the 15th century. The entire limestone quarry is conceived as a metaphorical quarantine zone where border walls are replaced by research to stop the spread of infectious diseases. The think tank analyzes and preserves olive trees developing and looking for alternative methods of treatment to defeat Xylella infection.
The internal Exhibition Area is connected to quarry which is thought as ‘en plein air’ museum dived in two parts: a permanent area with ancient olive-trees rescued and another research area with trees in treatment.
A footbridge system and carved stairs allow visitors to explore the entire quarry from different points of views with the purpose to create awareness about ecosystem loss caused by olive trees' desiccation and eradication and abandoned quarries turned into landfills.