Children’s garden and urban path, Gaiano (PR)


Client: Comune di Collecchio
Location: Gaiano, Parma
Project: 1997

Project and works direction: Marco Contini
Collaborators: Claudia Guastadini, Nicola Bonazzi, Gianluca Pasquali, Agata Cleri

Electrical systems: Giampaolo Vecchi

Type of intervention: urban redevelopment with pedestrian and cycle paths and a garden for children
Area: 1800 sqm

Contractor: Coruzzi

Photographs: studiocontini

The project involves the arrangement of the crossing path of the small centre of Gaiano with the construction of a simple sidewalk with finishing of stabilized grits, a small playground, the pedestrian connection with the cemetery and new rest areas.

The pedestrian path that comes from the inhabited centre enters the garden clearly separating from the driveway: from this point, it changes its conformation by relating through the use of materials to a situation that can be defined as more “rural”.

The small garden is located right on the edge of the town of Gaiano: the border condition and the relationship with the countryside have therefore been taken as design themes which have been sought to give solution both through the shape of the garden itself and with the type of vegetation used.

The design of the new green space reflects some essential choices: the function responds to the need to create a place suitable for multiple activities (meeting, walking and resting outdoors, playing, contemplating the countryside, observing small wildlife and spontaneous flora; the layout of the paths reveals the simplest connections of the area with its immediate surroundings, in particular with the avenue of the cemetery and with the future equipped sports area foreseen in the neighbouring area; the plant species which have been designed to the dwelling are those that belong to the surrounding countryside, to favour a good landscaping of the garden, but also its ecological integration; the materials used for the flooring and for the other artefacts, somehow already form part of the place and its memory, as well as the architectural elements of the garden.

Simple walls conclude the garden with respect to the inhabited area, separate it and relate it to the open space of the countryside, or rather, of the natural world of yesterday’s countryside, made of large oaks, hedges, wildflower meadows… Here it is the change in the shape and quality of the walls that enclose and intersect the garden to achieve what is needed to sit, lean, play, climb, jump, drink … Through openings in the walls – which are counterpoised by higher modules – you enter and you go out, coasting them or looking beyond, you are invited to observe the external landscape, and perhaps, to see it with new eyes with respect to the habits acquired.