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Fertile Country

master’s thesis, 2017

urban renovation

Piazza Togliatti is the biggest public space of Scandicci, a town near Florence. It is the site of an important weekly market, that attracts not only local inhabitants but also people from other nearby towns.
During the week the square becomes a parking lot, with very little public space left to the population. Because of this very intense usage and its general design, the square is currently very degradeted, and it feels unwelcoming.
In this proposal Piazza Togliatti represents the “third square”, neither historic nor akin to a contemporary public space. The design is uniform but, given its dimensions, it is divided into two macro areas, the garden and the paved square, with an underground parking lot just beneath the paved area and accessible by two ramps on the sides.
To mark even more this duality, symbolic walls, that also acts as seating spots and supports for various activities, are implemented.
For the garden area it was chosen a low maintenance and natural looking approach, with local species of wildflowers and trees.
The design is a direct reference to the way the territory was before urbanization, where the land appeared as a patchwork of plots of different cultivations, and to the 1929 painting “Monument in Fertile Country” by Paul Klee, inspired by the egyptian landscape near the Nile river, where the artist manages to represent it in a clear, synthetic and abstract way.
The aim of this project is to re-create a truly “fertile” layer of public space for all activities, and as a place of connection with the lost landscape.

supervisor: Fabrizio Rossi Prodi
co-supervisors: Antonino Terrana, Gabriele Paolinelli