Project Heracles #10 - Architecture - Domus
Project Heracles #10
 

Project Heracles #10

The postcard entries chosen by architecture curator Pippo Ciorra reflect on the mare nostrum theme of the project.

 

Architecture / Pippo Ciorra

For the guest-curated sets of Project Heracles submissions by Lieven De Cauter and Dieter Lesage, Geoff Manaugh, Saskia Sassen, Bruce Sterling, Asif Khan and Pernilla Ohrstedt, Elisa Poli, Carson Chan, Salvatore D'Agostino, and Matteo Costanzo, please look here. Pippo Ciorra is the next of our guest curators to select his favorite entries out of the hundreds Domus received.

Please, not another bridge
I looked carefully, trying to resist the kind of overload that comes when you get more than a hundred proposals. I worked backwards in order to give everyone an equal opportunity, and slowly I felt something come to the surface that was similar to a criterion that would help guide me through the sequence. I thought primarily about two issues. The first is that the Strait of Gibraltar (a blatantly Eurocentric name) is not only a space that separates Europe from Africa but it is also space that allows access to a place that, in many ways, unites them: the Mediterranean. So I like the proposals that take this into account and introduce the theme of the mare nostrum, a unifying sea, into the project, somehow shifting its perspective.

The second theme concerns the continuity/ discontinuity between the two lands, always starting with a kind of instinctive hostility to the idea that the response to a call like this should be the design of a bridge. So, islands, moving and floating archipelagos that allow the circumnavigation of mare nostrum without interrupting the flow through the straits. I like the intangible projects even more; suspended between landscape and a strange idea of a global scale public art project that can define a space without changing it. Hence the choice of the balloons, wires, colors, dual events (on both coasts) that have the merit of combining meaning and lightness.

Postcard #18. [top image] The idea of an inhabited raft is not a bad one, although the proposed form goes awry with excessive architecture and some heaviness. But I support the program.

Top image: The city on the water, Lucio De Luca (Italy). Above: Guggenheim Bilbao, Shicong Li.

Top image: The city on the water, Lucio De Luca (Italy). Above: Guggenheim Bilbao, Shicong Li.

Postcard #19. [above] Maybe the author didn't think of it this way, but one or more of Serra's megascupltures at sea could be a splendid hypothesis. I also support the archipelago program.

Rocklink, Eytan Kaufman and Andrea Ljahnicky, New York (US).

Rocklink, Eytan Kaufman and Andrea Ljahnicky, New York (US).

Postcard #43. [above] Of course I don't like the idea of the "Gate," of closure, but two islands along the route shorten distances, making the space useful and habitable and so they deserve consideration.

 
The Strait of Gibraltar (a blatantly Eurocentric name) is not only a space that separates Europe from Africa but it is also space that allows access to a place that, in many ways, unites them: the Mediterranean.
 
Arie Kinsbrunner, Givataim (Israel).

Arie Kinsbrunner, Givataim (Israel).

Postcard #59. [above] I do like the idea of considering the Gibraltar-Ceuta question within the Mediterranean one. In this way, we discover that it is a labile access/confine and so we'd like to leave it open.

Un ponte di isole-barche, Federica Maccelli, Lisbon (Portugal).

Un ponte di isole-barche, Federica Maccelli, Lisbon (Portugal).

Postcard #91. [above] The idea of moveable islands, along with suspended balloons, is my favorite because it invades the in-between space, creating places rather than building infrastructure.

Fragile Infrastructure #2, Sara Angelini and Davide Piccinni (Italy).

Fragile Infrastructure #2, Sara Angelini and Davide Piccinni (Italy).

Postcard #106. [above] I really like this one because it defines a space without building it. In addition, it doesn't choose between the north-south (Europe-Africa) and east-west (Atlantic-Mediterranean) directions.

Solar powered floating Island, Mauro Parravicini, Rotterdam (Netherlands).

Solar powered floating Island, Mauro Parravicini, Rotterdam (Netherlands).

Postcard #117. [above] Many boats create an island. A moving island can connect rather than isolate. And then there's a lot of possibility for recycling.

Kohei Tsuru, Kitakatsuragi-gun Nara (Japan).

Kohei Tsuru, Kitakatsuragi-gun Nara (Japan).

Postcard #120. [above] Light, color and lightness just to remind us that we are talking about a dream. In the end, what we don't like about the idea of a bridge or a road is the ease of control. We have to like all those projects that facilitate the avoidance of control.

Jbel Musa. Vista dello stretto di Gibilterra, Agosto 2026. Lavinia Pulvirenti and Andrea Basile (Italy).

Jbel Musa. Vista dello stretto di Gibilterra, Agosto 2026. Lavinia Pulvirenti and Andrea Basile (Italy).

Postcard #123. [above] This is interesting because the comings and goings of dirigibles on a large scale become a particularly interesting "airscape" that can identify a three-dimensional exchange space.

An open letter to the President of the European Council

After surveying proposals for a Eurafrican bridge, a plea to marshal the Heraclean effort to complete the last great juncture between earth's landmasses.

 

Op-ed / Joseph Grima

Project Heracles: where the EURO meets the AFRO
 

Project Heracles: where the EURO meets the AFRO

Bjarke Ingels/BIG contributes designs for new EU and African currencies for an exhibition of proposals for a Eurafrican Bridge at London's The Gopher Hole.

 

News

Project Heracles #3

Continuing the series of guest-curated selections from Project Heracles, Saskia Sassen comments on her favorites among the hundreds that Domus received.

 

Architecture / Saskia Sassen

Project Heracles #5
 

Project Heracles #5

In the ongoing series of guest-curated entries from Project Heracles, Asif Khan and Pernilla Ohrstedt detail their submission, which creates a radical new spur off London's tube network.

 

Architecture / Asif Khan + Pernilla Ohrstedt

Project Heracles #7
 

Project Heracles #7

The Mediterranean Sea represents an ocean of differences for the people who overlook it. For the next installment of Heracles, Carson Chan reads and responds to the postcard entries.

 

Architecture / Carson Chan

Project Heracles #9
 

Project Heracles #9

Among the postcards received for Project Heracles, Matteo Costanzo [2A + P/A] has selected those which represent the most basic aspect of crossing a border.

 

Architecture / Matteo Costanzo

Project Heracles #13
 

Project Heracles #13

Fears, desires, tics, perversions, ideological tendencies and fetishes are found by the Triestine researcher in the folds of the proposals submitted for the competition.

 

Architecture / Giovanni Corbellini

Project Heracles #14
 

Project Heracles #14

The selections by Marco Brizzi drift toward projects bearing less architectural, but not simplistic nor naïve, visions.

 

Architecture / Marco Brizzi