Fontana square

Urban design for a public square in Rozzano, a suburb of Milan, offering the local community a flexible and shared outdoor space.
The aim of this project was to create a new, flexible and welcoming landscape  for the local neighbourhood which would  satisfy the community’s complex and continuously changing needs. Labics’ intention was to make a space which would also trigger new, unplanned uses whilst retaining a strong local identity. A public consultation helped the municipality to define a very precise brief, accommodating the many different requirements and aspirations of the local community.
The geometrical pattern of the landscape is based on a dense grid of ‘golden rectangles’ (i.e. rectangles with side lengths in the golden ratio of 1:1.6), the dimensions of these determining every element of the square from the planting to the paving. A system of triangular shapes inside this orthogonal pattern helps to define the various natural and artificial surface treatments within the landscape, which include water, stone, lawn, shrubs and planted beds. A variety of trees, including cherries, pears, birches and acacias, has been planted to ensure a changing display of blossom and colour throughout the year. The paving is composed of a variety of materials ranging from local stone to iroko timber and concrete. To emphasise the lightly undulating topography of the square, the landscape has been artificially ‘bended’ to create a dynamic space.
A contemporary sculpture which acts as a gateway to the neighbourhood, benches and a pavilion/info point populate the square, providing spaces for play, relaxation and interaction.

Client: Municipality of Rozzano
Location: Rozzano, Milan
Programme: Design of new urban square
Status: Built
Dates: 2007 - 2011
Net floor area: 6.200 sqm
Cost: 1.240.000 euro
Design: Labics (Maria Claudia Clemente, Francesco Isidori)
Project team: Gaia Maria Lombardo, Giorgio Pasqualini
Model: Susan Berardo, Gaia Maria Lombardo
Consultants: Tender specification and services: Studio tecnico DFM

Photos: Luigi Filetici

European Participatory Public Space Award (Second Prize) 2011