Designing intercultural space. A multi-scalar approach in the Albergheria neighbourhood in Palermo


  • Federico Wulff Barreiro Cardiff University
  • Renzo Lecardane University of Palermo
  • Paola La Scala University of Palermo



research-action, multi-scalar approach, intercultural node, historical market


Migration has always been a major driver of urban transformation stimulating opportunities and challenges for cities and encouraging architectural and urban designers for taking a proactive and dynamic role in responding to the crisis. Enhancing these changes, and designing intercultural spaces for local communities, is a complex and urgent spatial challenge, that should be addressed by a multi-scalar approach aiming to integrate urban, architectural and public spaces. This paper illustrates a research-action resulting from a collective work developed on key urban spaces of the Albergheria neighbourhood of Palermo, where a design-led research based on a multi-scalar regeneration approach (urban, architectural and public space) can reframe the role of architecture and spatial practices as agents of social, intercultural inclusion and spatial reactivation at different scales.


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Author Biographies

Federico Wulff Barreiro, Cardiff University

Architect and PhD, he is a Senior Lecturer and the Course Director of the Masters of Architecture Design (MA AD) at the Welsh School of Architecture. His European Research Unit, EMUVE (Euro-Mediterranean Urban Voids Ecology) focuses on the search of innovative design methodologies for the re-activation of urban landscapes in crisis, from 2008 Economic downturn to the current refugee crisis.

Renzo Lecardane, University of Palermo

Architect and PhD, he is an Associate Professor in Urban and Architectural Design at the Department of Architecture, a Member of the Laboratoire de Recherche Infrastructure Architecture Territoire (ENSA Paris-Malaquais) and the vice President of DEMETRA Ce.Ri.Med. (Euro-Mediterranean Documentation and Research Center). His Research Unit LabCity Architecture focuses on the relationship between architecture and innovation experimenting the city phenomena through the design project.

Paola La Scala, University of Palermo

Architect and PhD, she is a Teaching Assistant at the Department of Architecture and a Member of the Research Unit LabCity Architecture. Her research focuses on temporary architecture as a mean for transforming public space in the city.


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Excerpt of the aerial photo of the present status and axonometric view of the project of the Piazza Carmine, and the new Covered Market in Ballarò (credit: LabCity Research Group, 2019). AGATHÓN 7 | 2020




How to Cite

Wulff Barreiro, F., Lecardane, R. and La Scala, P. (2020) “Designing intercultural space. A multi-scalar approach in the Albergheria neighbourhood in Palermo”, AGATHÓN | International Journal of Architecture, Art and Design, 7(online), pp. 82–91. doi: 10.19229/2464-9309/792020.