"To see where the ground leaves off and the building begins would require careful attention. But this organic ”ground-motive”, variety in unity. Once established in general practise, would be definite and Infinite." [Frank Lloyd Wright, The Living City, New York 1958]
Tufo is a type of a volcanic rock and Sassi is a city excavated in tufo. Sassi has been isolated from civilization until ’50s of the 20th century. When public opinion called this place “shame of Italy”, because of the poverty and unhealthy living conditions. Some people were living in a kind of cave houses. For this reason, authorities made decision to relocate autochthons to new social houses. Thus, the city was abandoned until ’80s. But later, Sassi started to be consider as a cultural heritage and has been included on the UNESCO list. Today this is a desirable place. New incomers have inhabited Sassi and fancy hotels and restaurants have been opened. The process of gentrification has been going on.
Sassi means stone. The city is an inhabited landscape and culture-nature distinction is blurred here. Sassi has been constructed for hundreds of years and is an example of vernacular architecture – made without architects and without projects. Space morphology could be depicted as a tension between negative and positive form or volume and void.