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Piazza Garibaldi e Palazzo Mari

Project for the new square in Concordia and the building opposite

  • Client:
    Municipality of Concordia sulla Secchia
  • Year:
  • Type:
  • Status:
  • Team:
    archt. Riccardo Russo, archt. Filippo Govoni, archt. Federico Orsini
  • Surface:
    3600 sq. m.
  • Location:
    Concordia sulla Secchia (Mo) - Italy

The competition for the construction of the new square in Concordia and the new "Palazzo Mari" is part of a large planning process initiated by the Administration through the Reconstruction Plan (RP). This process, born as a result of damage caused by the earthquake in 2012, saw the approval of a strategic urban Masterplan which has defined some guidelines for the design: creation of a new public square, capable of accommodate everyday activities and special activities (market, festival, etc.), creation of a new volume in place of the collapsed volume as a consequence of the earthquake with a  measurement of  volume forecast at 4400 mc (with a possible increase of 15%), three floors above ground for mixed use (commercial on the ground floor, offices and residences on the upper floors). Before the earthquake, the existing volume of Palazzo Mari occupied the area that is now planned for the square. The volume was placed in Via della Pace, finding a dialogue with the existing one and maintaining the continuity of the urban front. Furthemore the volumes along the road were structured in two different heights. The new volume projected by the Reconstruction Plan is placed discontinuously,  compared to the urban front, and it forms a single volume in the shape of L. This structure is not integrated to the context which is characterized by fragmented fronts with different heights; furthermore the closure in the shape of L duplicates the definite closure of the existing neighbouring volume. The project of the new square and its overlooking building proposes a new simple volumes arrangement where the L structure provided by RP is reduced to a simple parallel volume next to the church. This configuration allows you to free up public space and to create a stronger integration between existing, new volumes, and public space. This is connected with the public space behind the church through a new passage, built in correspondence to the opening on the left aisle of the church. Thus, it defines a connected and fluid space capable of connect the public spaces of the city and of increase thanks to the relationship between sacred space and civil space for a new urban dimension. It defines a shared pedestrian space, where the car is put on the back burner. The continuous surface defines perceptually a single square inside of which social, economic and cultural activities can take place. The heads of the square are densified and "closed" by masses of trees. These elements allow you to redefine the edge of the square and to reconstruct the memory of the existing volumes. In this way you define two natural areas, shaded, protected but accessible to the passage and at the sight, capable of linking the existing with the new volume and the memory of the past. The new volumes of Palazzo Mari are broken up into smaller sections, promoting a harmonious integration with the existing environment characterized by simple and articulated volumes. The perspective partition of historic buildings is defined by regular openings characterized by "frames" with decorative and protective function, and wood closing elements. The project reinterprets these elements in a contemporary way defining a frame characterized by a steel frame that integrates all the technological systems required today Therefore the new openings system articulates a new prospectus that perfectly fits for the context without sacrificing the necessary contemporaneity of materials and used technological systems.