Nicola Delledonne

Cultural Exchange vs. Marginality: A Project for an Islamic Culture House in Genoa, Italy

  • Urban Studies
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Architecture
  • Geography, Planning and Development

Social marginalization at the urban scale can stem from an ingrained fear within opposing societal blocs that their identity is inevitably destined to be undermined, or even lost, due to cultural conflicts. This article argues that the design of projects that juxtapose different cultural traditions and practices and encourage an openness to the exchange of knowledge and learning can both promote the reinforcement of identity, and set the stage for the willing and mutual acceptance of difference. With this perspective as a starting point, this article explores an unrealized project for an Islamic Culture House in Genoa, Italy, intended to be a place in which Islamic culture can be shared with the Christian and non-Christian residents of the city. This unrealized project, which received the European Muslim League’s support in 2012, proposes the transformation of an old building located in the Darsena area, the dockyards of Genoa, into a centre of Islamic culture.

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