In October 2019 we were contacted by Cobar s.p.a. to take part in the realization of the Regium Waterfront by Zaha Hadid Architects with the technical design and creation of a fountain. We accepted the request with enthusiasm, driven by the desire to try our hand at this new and important job destined to change the face of Reggio Calabria.
Regeneration and redevelopment of urban areas is not a new matter for Forme d’Acqua, but the grandeur of the works to be carried out in this project was a great source of inspiration and cultural enrichment.
In the masterplan, the theme of the Panoramic Walk is extremely important in the general logic of the intervention, where the fountain is the fulcrum of the new Reggio Calabria Waterfront: the last but most important architectural element. It is located in the center between the system of the two squares, from which the pedestrian and cycling flows are conveyed, and the containment wall of the driveway, which follows the difference in height of the ramps. In order to emphasize the compositional continuity, a small modification was made to the fountain compared to the original project, bringing it to three steps that end in a collection tank. The structure of the fountain is made of reinforced concrete with a resin finish, which allows the curvilinear complexes to be modeled on parametric shapes, a stylistic feature of Zaha Hadid that represents a reality without angles given by the exploration of possible variations offered by mathematical calculation.
In our work, the contribution given by architects and engineers is fundamental, because in the design of a fountain there is a continuous exchange between the technical office, expertise, designers and planners, in order to offer beautiful and technically perfect and performing products. It is precisely the combination of technical knowledge and craftsmanship that generates the right balance that allows us to offer custom solutions, which, in addition to being original, are mainly functional. In general, the situations that arise are mainly two: the first consists in revising an existing project, investigating the factors that do not allow the fountain to function properly and consequently finding the most effective solutions to restore it (peer review); otherwise we intervene in the design phase, producing the entire MEP part of the fountain, in order to offer a complete and finished design. Each situation is a world unto itself and for this reason each fountain is designed from scratch, analyzing the context, the desires and, as in the case of the Regium Waterfront, the masterplan and the characteristic compositional style of the designer.
During the construction of the Regium Waterfront, the challenges faced were many, first of all Covid-19 which changed the tables with disarming speed, forcing the postponement of work delivery and even the inauguration. What allowed us to overcome these sudden changes was our ability to adapt: a key soft skill, essential for living peacefully at work, but which is not so “soft” since it requires knowing how to be fast and proactive in face changes and difficulties, turning them into positive moments of personal growth and time management. From emergency to resilience: in this way our propensity for change has guided us to modify procedures, calendars and modus operandi, without letting ourselves be discouraged by the vicissitudes, thus rediscovering ourselves even smarter.
In recent years we have had the opportunity to collaborate on masterplans and works by illustrious names in international architecture, among the most important Jacques Garcia, from which we have been able to seize new opportunities that have ultimately resulted in a maturation of our technical and the ability to manage complexities.
So here we are today, in two days we will be in Reggio Calabria, excited to see another project realized but this time with an extra awareness: if you love your work, you are willing to wait and adapt in order to achieve your goals.