Culture stations approaches the ancient railway as an opportunity to redesign the town of Elini, in order to consolidate its tourism offer and services, and to plan its future development, with the visions and proposals formulated by the designers. The key questions of the project are, on the one hand, the re-use of old railway architecture, and on the other hand, the regeneration of inland areas, which are usually neglected or abandoned, due to their isolation compared to more developed urban centers.
Even though Elini is an exception to this – it has seen a constant demographic growth over the last few years – it is important to develop a plan in order to consolidate the growth of this area, which is peripheral and, as a consequence, structurally more fragile. Over the years the Municipality of Elini has implemented a for- ward-looking policy of real estate acquisitions, therefore, designers today have numerous spaces at their disposal to redesign the aspect and vocation of the town in an effective and substantial way. Whatever the functions proposed by the architects, Culture stations has a wide range of fascinating topics. In the Elini project, all interventions must consider the pre-existing buildings – the ones belonging to the urban fabric and the railway that crosses the town – and they must also take into account the surrounding landscape. Not only does nature create the scenario where Elini is located, with its spectacular views of the sea, the mountains, and the forests, but it also is part of the urban fabric of the town, with a dense system of gardens. Finally, the general research purpose of the project must be considered, as Elini is a particular case of a model that can be repeated, both in Sardinia and in any other context where stations are present.
Starting with Elini, the project will aim at creating a new regeneration model of abandoned railway infrastructures, going beyond their original transportation function and interpreting them as a renewed instrument to discover the surrounding areas. In this perspective, here follow some suggestions for various functional possibilities, underlining that the composition of such scenarios, their integration, modifications, and combination, will be considered as part of the competition, as all choices are entirely up to the participants.
1. Hotel “diffuso”. In this vision, Elini is considered as a stopover for visitors and as a platform to discover the surroundings. The town is connected to the rest of the Ogliastra region via stations, and it is a place which offers accommodation solutions that can meet the needs of all type of travelers: from more affluent tourists, who look for comfort and well-being, to nature lovers who look for adventures and excursions. Possible interpretations of this vision are exclusive residences, services for visitors, restaurants, sport centers, spas, scattered all over the town.
2. Museum “diffuso”. In this vision, Elini is considered as an open-air museum, as the perfect context for creative and performative experimentations of visionary artists. A walk around the town will be full of works of art, cultural events, exhibitions, it will be a real museum experience. In this vision, spaces must be multi-purpose and flexible.
3. Art school. In this vision (linked to the “Museum diffuso”), Elini is considered not only as a place to enjoy art and exhibitions, but also as a place to produce innovative works of art, in all creative disciplines. Some elements of this vision can be artist residences, workshops, shared workspace, along with all other necessary services. The purpose of this vision is to make Elini the epicenter of avant-garde movements and artistic experimentation.
4. Business incubator. The recent pandemics made it possible to work from remote corners of the world, as professional relationships and work activities have largely become virtual. In this sense, living in a metropolis for professional purposes is not necessary anymore. As a consequence, workers can choose where to live, go back to inland areas, surrounded by nature, provided that they have a good internet connection. This phenomenon opens up interesting new opportunities for architects. In this vision, Elini is considered as a beautiful context, far from the hustle and bustle of the city, where people can live without renouncing the professional opportunities of big cities.
YAC – Young Architects Competitions – launches CULTURE STATIONS, a competition of ideas for a regeneration of Elini and its surroundings at the heart of Sardinia, one of the most amazing islands in the Mediterranean Sea. Contestants will be asked to reinterpret ancient railway infrastructures in terms of culture and tourism, considering a general mood of “sweet mobility” and “slow tourism”.
Young Architects Competitions
Link to Competition
Link to Registration form
1° PRIZE 8.000
€ 2° PRIZE 4.000
€ 3° PRIZE 2.000 €
2 GOLD MENTION 500 €
10 HONORABLE MENTIONS
Type of Competition
Open to the public/Minimum requirements (Open to anyone that complies with the requirements), Single stage (Winners selected immediately)
Who can Participate
– Participants can join the competition either individually or with a team;
– Participants can be students, graduates, freelance architects even when they belong to
a team. It is not mandatory to be experts of architectural disciplines or members of
– Each Team must include at least one team member aged from 18 to 35
Dates and Time Frame
Registration Closes September 5, 2021
Deadline to Submit Project September 8, 2021
Winners announcement Date October 11, 2021
Location of Competition
Banner, Poster, Brochure or Triptic of Competition