Athens Journal of Architecture (Oct 2021)

Building on the Border: Architecture as a Meeting Place

  • Francesco Del Sole

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 7, no. 4
pp. 415 – 440


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To establish a border signifies defining a fixed point from which to start and to which to refer in order to circumscribe controlled and measured environments. It is not important whether it is a border between states and regions or private and public spaces, because the main effect of the border is to sanction a diversity. This proposal will analyse three case-studies that, starting from antiquity to the contemporary age, have proposed over time different ways of conceiving the border, making architecture the convergence point. The first is the Temple of Diana at Ephesus, a monument created by Greek artists located in Persian territory. It stood on the peninsula of Anatolia, the border land par excellence in the Hellenistic world, a place where the dominant Western cultures of Greece and Persia clashed. The second is Castel Velturno, a border utopia belonging to Prince-Bishop Cristoforo Madruzzo, who deposited his dreams of unification between the North and the South of Christianity which were torn apart by the theological demands addressed during the Council of Trento. Finally, this proposal will examine the contemporary project entitled the Bi-National Community Skyscraper, which proposes a reinterpretation of the walls erected on the border between the USA and Mexico by building a skyscraper on it in which the two communities can meet and merge together.