An interesting operation of urban renewal in a brave tiny center among the early hills of Bergamo. The construction of a new primary school similar to a defensive inhabited urban border with a green heart, following a successful contest of ideas the Studio was proclaimed winner of, was joined in about a year from the education building’s completion, by the integral redefinition of the municipal private courtyards, hitherto treated as merely residual unused spaces.
The strictly low budget project is based on rigor and simplicity: a few materials (in physical and chromatic continuity with those adopted for the nearby school) and reduced significant elements are involved in defining a semi-artificial landscape aiming to set an urban “living room”.
White concrete wheelchair friendly ramps and new staircases replace the inadequate pre-existing access to the building, while dark metal containments, profiles, railings and coatings, all custom designed, give to volumetric presences a kind of geometric attitude smoothly conflicting with the organic forms of tree masses, shrubs and lawns.
A flooring in recycled light grey concrete elements with a barcode superficial texture, winds through meadows and historic trees drawing tactile fingers ruled by a sharp and precise planimetric geometry.
Suspended volumes for long benches in the green are placed at strategic thickening of the pavement just nearby significant points of convergence within the network of paths. At night all benches get illuminated at the base and start floating on clouds of grazing light that give the walking level a surprisingly vibrant look.
Shaft luminous elements and light spots hidden in the bushes complete the construction of a warm, somewhat domestic, fluffy and highly familiar perceptual landscape. Connecting the school gardens to the historical urban park in a seamless green ridge, this new collective stage, just like a home carpet, has soon been welcoming, hugging and cuddling people at any time of day and night, taking the shape a real community proscenium.
Chronology: 2013 project, 2014 Construction
Category: Public Spaces, Urban
Design Team: Tomas Ghisellini, Alice Marzola
Technical Coordination and Building Direction: Tomas Ghisellini
Photographs: Tomas Ghisellini