New Planning for Piazza Michelangelo

International competition | Second prize

Catania. Italy | 2006

Comune di Catania

With Sebastiano Provenzano

The main purpose of the project is to create a new large landscaped area in this neighborhood of Catania. To that end, piazza Michelangelo is used as the centre of an empty complex that is actually formed by three successive public areas: the gardens of the viale Rafaelo Sanzio, the piazza Michelangelo itself and the gardens of villa Scammacca, which are now incorporated into the city’s park system. The project explores the strategy of linking. The three areas are connected diagonally through a pedestrian walkway that goes through the piazza, linked by an attractive green system, large enough to become a new place to rest. 

The Michelangelo piazza is offered as both a place to pass through and to meet. A place to pass through because it gives the citizen free mobility. A place to stay because each of its four sides, although different, invites people to stay one way or another. An already existing commercial gallery, a new pavilion with different uses; a garden strip on the south side and a large forest of magnolia trees invite the passers-by to stop, lose themselves and evade from the surrounding city.  

In sum, an operation based on light and economical interventions is proposed. It is based, more than on large urban gestures on hidden architectural presences, reading the immediate context and using the capacities that surround the place, such as the villa Scammacca, the Rafael Sanzio street gardens or the existing commercial gallery.

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