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Architectural and landscaping redevelopment of the chimney inserted in the Mincio park

Bridges over the Mincio


special mention

Arch. Elena Brusa Pasquè

Arch. Marco Zanini

PRR Architects




The plain is a liquid surface: a place that favors human activities and movements. In the plains, orientation cannot be supported by a mountain or by the sea. In the plain everything flows. The plain is a human laboratory, an anthropic landscape par excellence. The act of civilization that produces it and which in the past was the action of building the sense of a place, today becomes negation. The area perceived on a large scale is a landscape battered by buildings, roads, infrastructures and even chimneys which will also have allowed the achievement of well-being, but have taken away the sense of place (genius loci) that generations after generations have managed to cultivate in the plain. The landscape on which the project insists is saturated: all the complex information contained and settled over time is no longer read. This skilful superimposition of all the actors who have contributed to the production of the landscape has dissolved in the spasmodic search for well-being. The Lombard plain is defined by Cattaneo as a "deposit of hard work", which today no longer helps to weave meaning, but to lose it: the infinite buildings do not help to inhabit the place but to create noise. A noise that makes you lose that sense, that foothold that allows you to feel that place as your own. We don't stay on the plain, we move: the landscape flows away and we with it. And so we go to Milan, New York, Paris, London.
The choice of the project to rediscover the meaning, in a high definition world saturated with noise, is to lower the resolution with the aim of reaching the soul of the landscape, the simplest impression of it. The project starts from the smallest strip of story that can be impressed by the eye. That series of colours, of pixels thus obtained, becomes the briefest impressionable surface: the synthesis, the soul of the place which becomes the abstract decorative motif of the chimney. A place that finds a home in a chimney. This now useless artifact, discarded by the logic of production, will no longer be perceived as an eco-monster but as a foothold: the final abstract synthesis of everything that has always been perceived at a zero level. The peoples crossing the plain have perceived the infinite shades of green in the woods, ochre, yellows, browns and greens for the fields; the vivid colors in the flowery clearings, the greys, yellows and reds in the cities and finally the blues along the Mincio river. The Mincio holds all these colors together, reflecting them all in the various seasons and taking on the colors of the ever changing sky. Tomorrow this impression at ground level will be perceived in a single vertical solution that will enhance the chimney and make it dissolve in the landscape, because it is its abstract synthesis.
A tower that does not disappear but becomes a symbol and foothold of a flowing landscape.

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