We are in September, ready to inaugurate tomorrow a new urban redevelopment project, to which we have collaborated with the design and construction of a fountain.
Usually September is the month of the restart: in August the watchword is “unplug”, to devote yourself as much as possible to fun and relaxation, moving many projects and objectives to September 1st, usually arriving on August 31st with a list of good intentions that sometimes you don’t even know where they came from. This happens in what is called “normality”, in our case we are experiencing a year of lots of sunshine, few holidays and lots of fountains, with an August where we worked and we didn’t miss even the fiery sun of Erbil (Iraq, Kurdistan Iraqi).
So September for us is not a restart, but a continuation that leads to the definition of many beautiful projects and as many fountains.
One of these is precisely what is about to be finalized in Cameri, a small town north of Novara, where a large urban redevelopment project is underway that has touched and will touch various city areas. Now it’s time for via G. Matteotti and piazza Santa Maria, where the technical and economic feasibility project drawn up by the architect Paola Piccoli (who also supervised the works) led to the redevelopment and above all to the safety of the area. Piazza Santa Maria was more like a passage road than a real square: the presence of the church and the monument to the Virgin Mary move like clues that bring the mind back to decades ago, when the square had a much more social role important now, when it was a privileged space for meeting and socializing and was literally lived by the citizens, making it alive and indispensable to everyday life. The monument as a meeting point and the church as a place dedicated to spirituality, but also to the passing of days and months, where anniversaries and parties were surrounded by masses and processions, in which the entire community participated. Between the square and the statue, the fountain, but not as a monumental element in its own right, but as a complement to the two, to increase the value and beauty of the entire context.
The first fountain in Piazza Santa Maria dates back to 1926 and had a circular shape that embraced the entire perimeter of the column of the statue, then it was modified into two trapezoidal basins on the two opposite sides of the base to leave more space for traffic and the transit of cars. Over time, however, this solution that favored the circulation of vehicles led to an impoverishment of the function of the square, as well as of the memories linked to it, which remained for a few citizens a small treasure of the days of their youth.
In recent years, cities have been trying in every way to repossess the squares and this is perhaps a merit attributable to social networks, which have become virtual squares, livable from anywhere, which have slowly taken people away from meeting places. “Physical / traditional”. The squares have emptied of people, culture and tradition, losing meaning and social weight, so the administrations try to redesign cities by bringing people back to the streets and giving life and importance to monuments, places and activities. This is how in Cameri what had become a street becomes a square again: the two raised and disused pools have been eliminated and in their place there are two floor fountains, overlooked by stone seats surrounded by a small garden of trees and potted plants. In this way, with elements – few and well studied – such as seats, plants and water games, there is a general improvement of the architectural and aesthetic value, which leads to the transformation of the area into a space for relating and meeting, a sort of open-air lounge.
With this project, citizenship regains possession of a city space, for children, families and friends: a place to meet and make new friends or find others that have been lost. All accompanied by the light sound of eighteen jets of water falling on the pavement, where the absence of a pool favors involvement, especially with children, generating joy, but also improving the microclimate on particularly hot days.