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Braided, Piacenza, Italy

  • Status: ALLDesign
  • Countries: Italy 
  • Typology: Cultural  Mixed-use  Urban 
  • Size: <100.000m² 

In 1527 Pope Clement ordered the construction of IIV “fortified walls”, the fortified walls still defines the contours of the historical city, making Piacenza one of the few walled towns (in Emilia Romagna only Piacenza and Ferrara). The walls have an undisputed artistic charm and can be considered true masterpieces of military architecture.
Precisely because of this peculiarity, the city should make the most out of this extraordinary historical and artistic value.
The city of Piacenza and the “Parco delle Mura” have always had an ambiguous and unresolved.
With this project we want first of all to give life back to the “Walls”. An intervention needed to preserve, redevelop and enhance the walls of the city, especially to improve the lives quality of Piacenza. Nowadays, it is no longer required its protective function and barrier, the walls should now fully integrate the park and the city.
The project want to enhance the city walls, as a monumental and landscape distinctive identity and recognition of the city, in order to revitalize the city and create a modern and functional park so you do not have only the historical walls, but also a reason to go near them and finally enjoy them.

The main concept of the idea comes from historical research. The Walls “Farnesiane” were and are still surrounded by a moat filled with water but in the past for protection against invaders. We wanted to reinterpret this natural element, creating a historical connection to the Park. The water goes back to the actual function of the walls and as a symbol of rebirth.
Life, as far as we know it, it is possible only in the presence of water and in the Eastern doctrine, Wu Xing is represented by the symbol 水 – Shuǐ, that means that from the black abyss of water is emerging life. It means adaptability, change, life change and symbolic the rebirth. The water is also the energy balance of the energy exchange between the inside and outside of the body-mind, it is essential to calm, soothe, soften, wrap .
The water has a precise shape to which we were inspired by, the waves and the movement of them, because the movement is fundamental for us. We gave a shape to our park inspired by nature by the Braided Rivers, a special kind of river morphology, from which comes our “twisted form”. The the fountains are designed to collect water in order to provide for the irrigation of the park.

The operation involves the modernization of the buildings along approximately 1 km and a half, the thought is moving towards the future by learning from the past. The outer part of the park is inspired by the braided rivers, but without losing the sinuosity and the complicity between the two parts inside and outside, however the interior of the park is inspired by stone materials typical of all Italian cities. The inside is designed reassessment and reorganization of routes in a simple, modern but effective. The flooring and the green area is inspired by the diamond shape that is formed in the plots of our paths in the park, but this time, reinterpreted becoming so unique flooring. The resettlement pathways involves the creation of a pedestrian and bike path next to the wall, and then continue to a limited traffic zone. The flooring is designed not to encourage too high a speed, creating areas with limited traffic.
The park is designed as a simple network of paths that weave become an element of recognition of the city, hard not to admire. The vegetation of the park is designed in order to stop this infinite length which made it very welcoming. For this purpose we adopt the tall trees that form the “small forest” can shelter from the sun and to feel enveloped and protected citizens. These “small forest” are illuminated in the evening, giving the park a romantic atmosphere. The vegetation Piacentina is integrated into these project such as: various species of willow shrubs, arborescent willow, white willow, the black alder, black poplar, white poplar, shrubs, oak, hornbeam, hardwood, oak associated, linden, elm , hornbeam which are alternated between the different areas. Also introduced are two trees in a green park can not be missed: the Chusan palm, to give the feeling of being on vacation by the sea and its resistance to low temperatures (resistant up to -15 °), and the Mediterranean cypress, for its elegance.
The park offers more features such as leisure and sports, but also the infrastructure are organized for events of all types. That’s why they developed three main points that offer different situations suitable to host the needs of all target groups of different ages. The meeting points are: the “Farnesia”, the “Borghetto” and the “Arena”.
Our “Parco delle Mura” has the primary goal of being an Ecological Park, with very little environmental impact, using technological inventions where could be used without causing damage to the Earth, such as putting even the streetlights with solar panels. Also thinking of the needs of today’s youth by creating benches and areas where you can charge your own laptops and mobile phones through solar energy at no cost. The whole Park is also with WIFI access for browsing or studying outdoors.
Living the Park will provide an experience of deep exchange between man and nature, but also a sense of connection with the identity of the place and its roots.