Client_City Council of Bergamo
Service_Design competition, fourth place
In front of the beauty of the ancient Venetian Walls, the design choice goes for a formal rarefaction. No forced narration: two elevators are two structural volumes in concrete. Together with the bastion upper level, provide three support points for a pedestrian walkway. No formal evasion: the two elevators intend to occupy the least space possible; hence the choice to separate the cabins into two distinct towers, because two slender bodies create less visual obstacle than a single bigger body. Two identical objects affirm itself as a machine in contrast to the orographic character of the Walls.
The project is not intended to be just a formal counterpoint to the fortification system; it dialogues with the materiality of the ancient walls and the rocky soil from which they stand out. To fit into the local atmosphere, the towers get the shades of the wall mass behind them through their cement stucco cladding: the whiteness of the Zandobbio marble, the amber veins of the Sarnico stone and the grays of the sandstones.
The compositional principle of the project figures arises from the mechanics of overcoming the difference in height of the terrace. The orthogonal intersection of the two horizontal lines, the axis of the tunnel entrance and that of the landing on the bastion, mark a cross-shaped figure on whose position the bases of the towers are set.
Located at the point where the ridge line of the Città Alta hill reaches the plain, the location of the project highlights the peculiar character of the ancient walls: they surround the city well beyond the extension of the inhabited nucleus, including large portions of the surrounding hilly landscape.
Environmental project approach starts from this observation and aims to define a single large green area that brings together the banks of river Morla, the “ortaglie” meadows and the park of Sant’Agostino in a single area. The mechanized ascent, through its three landings, becomes an opportunity to unite the three altimetric levels of the park in a single element: 1_the lower valley level, where it flows the Morla river flanked by the cycle/pedestrian path.
2_the middle level of the meadows at the foot of the ancient walls, from which the alternative routes depart: a connection to the Accademia Carrara and the ascent to Città Alta via the abandoned gunboat of Sant’Agostino, whose restoration and valorisation is proposed.
3_the top level of the Baluardo del Pallone, where the patrol route widens to form a terrace equipped with a cafeteria which becomes the central place of the park.