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Il dono accomuna - Public square in Quartucciu (I)

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  • Il dono accomuna 
    Competition for the rehabilitation of a public square,
    Quartucciu (CA), Sardinia, 2010 
  • Four possible configurations: 1. Summer festival; 2. Outdoor celebration in summer; 3. Summer sunday; 4. Workdays.
  • The competition brief stated that a renamed entrepreneur would donate the rehabilitation of the central square of the city as a gift to his birthplace.
    The act of giving is by definition non-binding. A mechanism that requires trust. 
    In this particular case the gift is a public space, which by its nature is home to a variety of activities and people.
    The generosity of the act requires an equal generosity in space. A space to accommodate the uses that the community needs, that suits different uses, without forcing people on the basis of contingency or design mode.

    The idea is thus to design a space adaptable to different uses and functions and can be changed by users according to their needs and desires.

    The result is an open space where citizens play an active role.
  • Perspective view from above showing all the elements of the square during a summer festival.
  • The square extends the inner space of the church with the removal of existing trees which, even according to the inhabitants of the area surveyed, provide inadequate shading and smell horribly.

    The Holy Virgin's statue is relocated behind the bell tower, where it retains a visual contract with the entrance area of the church. A small area for prayers or meditation is designed around the statue, as an alternative space to the wider square.

    The horizontal plane made of Sardinian granite stone 8 cm thick often cm. 8 is as wide as possible, including also the neighbouring streets that become visually an extension of the square, while leaving intact their function.
    The size of the stone slabs decreases from the more important areas to the margins.

    The square has both fixed and mobile boundaries. The first are trees, lights, surrounding buildings, and a pergola. The second are made with furniture: flower pots, fountains and water blade. The result is a space with variable geometry, adaptable to various uses throughout the year.

    The granite surface rises in front of the church to ensure accessibility to the Church for disabled people. On the north side it shows a small depression, which becomes a pool with waterworks, when the summer air becomes hot, or for scenographic duties.

    The shading pergola is six meters high. This height reduces visual impact, as it ensures transparency throughout the square, while slightly obscuring the tall building on the corner. At the height of the observer structure looks like a wood, thin, transparent yet shady. Due to its size, is almost a space in itself and can accommodate complementary activities: children's play during an event, backstage dressing rooms during a show, ... 
  • The grey ellipses show the areas with a better comfort both in winter (the sunlit ones) and in summer (the shaded ones), obtained through a combination of solar irradiation, ventilation, humidity and shade.
  • The pergola, the trees and blade of water contribute to both the urban design of the square and its climate control. The spatial design of the square aims to enhance hygrothermal conditions in order to encourage its use to the fullest extent for prolonged period of time. Vitality and accessibility of public spaces are in fact strongly affected by their level of comfort.
  • Granite floor, pergola, and water.