Piazza Degli Alpini, Bergamo City Urban Landscape, Italian Architecture Images

Piazza Degli Alpini in Bergamo, Italy

22 Feb 2021

Piazza Degli Alpini

Architect: Studio Capitanio Architetti and OSA Architettura e Paesaggio

Location: Bergamo, Italy

The redevelopment of Piazza Degli Alpini was carried out by Studio Capitanio Architetti and Osa Architettura e Paesaggio on behalf of Bergamo Municipality between 2018 and 2020. It is at the centre of the redevelopment of public spaces, which defines the city in a period of urban regeneration.

Piazza Degli Alpini Bergamo

This limited budget project recovered the collective dimension of the largest open space in the city mitigating the long-standing social issues that affected this central area, which was frequented by individuals at the margin of society and indifferent passers-by hurrying along.

Piazza Degli Alpini Bergamo

The square is barycentric between the 1900s central system by Piacentini and the wide expansion of Porta Sud. It is positioned along the historic avenue originally known as Viale Ferdinandeo, enriched by majestic trees and the monument to the Alpini (Alpine Corps), created in the 1960s, designed by Architect Gambirasio.

Piazza Degli Alpini Bergamo

The new square is imagined as a wide, freely accessible expanse able to re-establish for this space a new sense of belonging to the city. Open spaces and safe, free views that allow the enactment of new collective urban behaviours such as events, open-air cinemas, temporary displays and local markets. The global view of the square invites the interest of the passers-by, it increases comfort, security and control.

To direct visitors towards the centre of the square rather than the margins, the difference in levels towards the sides of the square is overcome using a careful compositional arrangement that creates a ramp and stairs. These architectural elements qualify the space recalling the diagonal generated by the original course of two canals now interred, Roggia Nuova and Roggia Morlana.

Piazza Degli Alpini Bergamo

The flow of pedestrian traffic, generated in the main by a number of nearby schools and the railway station, took a central role in the regeneration of the space and were investigated to invite constant movement across the square throughout the day, including access to users with a disability.

Paving is defined as an urban carpet, a Terre minéral, enhanced by alternating sections in polished and exposed concrete, that highlights the aggregates from local gravel quarries in the Orobic region. The “brutal” character of the material is accompanied by the fine geometrical design of the paving interspersed with metal joints and linear fissures for the collection of rainwater.

The trees are directors, custodians and great actors in the square. The vegetation, ancient and luxuriant, is defined by century-old trees, imposing specimens that go back to the 1920s. Among them, several Ginko Biloba stand out, living fossils that find their origin in the Permian period, approximately 250 million years ago. Their beautiful bilobed leaves paint autumn days and, once fallen, the pavement with their intense yellow.

To showcase the great and prized historic trees, some younger specimens were moved to other parks in the city. At ground level, the trees define circular flower beds describing the projections of their crowns. These are at times embraced by original-design benches made to be shared.

Piazza Degli Alpini Bergamo Piazza Degli Alpini Bergamo

Piazza Alpini finds its origin in the early 1900s as part of the development of the modern centre along the 19th-century Viale Ferdinandeo that defines the central axis of the expansion of the city. The square interfaces with a prestigious architectural context, where Vittorio Emanuele II school building and the palazzo now housing L’Eco di Bergamo newspaper stand out, both noted for their historical and architectural relevance.

The southern perimeter is formed by the more recent building housing Urban Center, headquarter of Bergamo Scienza, and the bus station, which is the access to the intermodal connection hub serving the valleys in the Orobic region and the airport.

The project, developed and completed over the period of two years, was shaped by a cooperative reflection involving all the main stakeholders, such as Distretto Unico del Commercio (local urban enterprise organisation), Confesercenti (national enterprise association), schools, Associazione Bergamo Scienze (scientific information centre), Legambiente (environmental protection association), Italia Nostra (arts and environment protection association) and local residents associations.

Piazza Degli Alpini Bergamo

“The analysis of location and use within this project have led to envisage the new Piazza Alpini as architecture that does not instruct a behaviour but one that enables the citizens to interact with it in unpredictable ways in constant evolution to maintain a collective dimension, to meet and socialise.” Remo Capitanio.

“Attention to the budget through innovative, technical solutions allowed to contain costs considerably. Creating a quality public space in an urban centre, a space which is adaptable to uses and behaviours, animated by vegetation, embellished by display systems, provided with public lighting, utilities and plants, long-lasting and low maintenance, for120€/sqm was a challenge and a gamble. The materials used weren’t valuable; it is the way they were used that gave them value”. OSA architecture

Piazza Degli Alpini Bergamo

About Studio Capitanio Architetti

Based in Bergamo, Studio Capitanio Architetti deals mainly with urban architecture and design at all levels, investigating languages and methodologies in search of the quality of contemporary living spaces.
Always alert to the changes in the local community and environment, this studio demonstrates a strong, sensitive awareness of the context, functionality and compositional philosophy.

Attention to the environmental, social and construction dimensions is embedded in the studio’s activities through a planned process of design and construction control.
The project design is entrusted to the use of few, selected materials, clean lines and local references in the quest for quality, timeless architecture.

The studio took part in a number of competitions, focusing on projects on the regeneration of urban public spaces, and was awarded acknowledgements and prizes.

Piazza Degli Alpini Bergamo Piazza Degli Alpini Bergamo

About OSA architettura e paesaggio

Osa architettura e paesaggio is an architectural practice founded by Massimo Acito e Luca Catalano in Rome.
It deals with the urban project and open space at all scales, with the enhancement, regeneration or definition of new landscapes: public and private gardens, parks and urban public spaces, places for tourism, infrastructures, even in particularly sensitive areas, such as historical gardens, archaeological sites, naturalistic areas and abandoned industrial areas. The Studio is the winner of several international prizes and competitions, most recently the National Inarch award in the young professionals section.

Its projects have been selected by the Landscape Architecture Europe Foundation (Wageningen) for two editions as part of the best contemporary landscape architecture projects in Europe. OSA’s projects are published in many magazines including Lotus International, L’Architetto, Casabella, Domus, Area, Paisea.

Piazza Degli Alpini Bergamo

Piazza Degli Alpini in Bergamo, Italy – Building Information

Architect: Studio Capitanio Architetti and OSA Architettura e Paesaggio
Year: 2018/2020
Time: 8 months
Site: 13.000 sqm

Location: Bergamo, Italy
Type: architecture / urban landscape / urban refurbishment

Client: Comune di Bergamo

Remo Capitanio – Studio Capitanio Architetti
Massimo Acito – OSA architettura e paesaggio
Luca Catalano – OSA architettura e paesaggio

Site supervision:
Remo Capitanio – Studio Capitanio Architetti

Enrico Zambonelli – MCZ ingeneriasrl
Loris Doneda

Lighting consultant:
Mario Morosini – Telmotorhttps://www.telmotor.it/

Martina Brambati, Ilaria Ambrosini
Giacomo Gasbarri, Valentina Peluso
Sergio Moro

Model: Studio Capitanio Architetti

Zoldan Costruzioni Generali https://www.zoldancostruzioni.it/

Concrete pavements:
Orobica inerti srlhttp://orobicainerti.it/

Concrete precastslab:
Cementisti Bergamo https://www.cementistibergamo.com/

Carrara Irrigazione https://www.carrarairrigazione.it/

EWO https://www.ewo.com/it

Green works:
Florovivaistica Picinali http://www.florovivaisticapicinali.com/

English text: Giovanna Bosis

Piazza Degli Alpini Bergamo

Photo: Stefano Tacchinardi

Piazza Degli Alpini, Bergamo information / images received 220221

Location: Bergamo, Italy

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