The project titled “The Connective” is developed in the italian town of Castiglione Olona near Va- rese in the Lombardy region. The town has a population of about 8000 inhabitants and it’s deeply characterized by the typical structure of a 15th century small village with its historical buildings and its prestigious frescoes. Castiglione Olona is composed by four different urban layers (the old town centre, the residential area, the industrial area better known as the “Mazzucchelli area” and the natural landscape), that do not communicate to each other due to their different origins and due to the various functions they are supposed to solve. The planning aim is to create a brand new urban space where the four realities are strictly connected to each other in order to define a huge urban incubator where the user
is offered the chance to follow a new route that tries to valorize the peculiarities of the existing space. The area in question, (the ex Mazzucchelli area) occupies a stategical position of obligatory cros- sroads resulting, therefore particularly suited to a design proposal which goes from wanting to reunite and link different realities through architectural language and simple, modern, linear spa- ce. The main object is to value the territory, especially those less well kmown aspects but which are just as.interesting. In this way ‘The Connective’ becomes a space which creates a new centrality, united and linked to the rest of the city able to transform an desolute urban area into a group of services intended to improve the enviromental and architectural quality and unify urban areas through constant dia- logue. It means an intervention which invades suburban areas, thus generating a system unitary and continuative as well as diverse according to a a succession of predefined planning themes. The plan provides the pedestrianization of almost the whole available area, favouring therefore an ecosustainable movement of those who visit the area and recognising some essential charac- teristics for real improvement of the city. The new masterplan has been defined by two main directions that can be told apart thanks to their different aesthetic language, linear the first, curve the latter. The start of the route is colloca- ted in a degraded area close to a big dismantled building of the Mazzucchelli complex. The exi- sting space is reshaped in a zigzag way that led to a new kind of flooring for a walkway where the user is supposed to pass by instead of stopping. The other area on the opposite side of the street (where the old railway station is situated) is completely different and it’s characterized by organic curves that shape the space and become a lighting system when required. In both of the areas the final result is a sharp contrast between concrete and nature, one emerging from the other, so that in the zigzag walkway the green areas are dominant, while in the organic open space counts the opposite. The two different languages have not been chosen at random but as an abstract representation of mountains and valleys, both typical of the Varese province. As for the structures that have been chosen for “The Connective”, they share the same aesthetic language, but solving different fun- ctions. We used 3mx3m wooden cubic elements that are suspended from the ground so that they seem to be floating in the air and a specific ground lighting system is collocated under the structures in order to stress this metaphysical atmosphere. Nine crossable shells (they have been deprived of two faces) have been scattered throughout the zigzag area and they have been named “Previews” since they disclose the different activities you can undertake in Castiglione Olona. This kind of wooden cubes is collocated along the flooring made of red concrete in order to remind the function it solves as cycle and pedestrian way. Where the second main direction begins is situated the symbol of the whole project: the pano- ramic tower. It’s the result of piling different wooden cubic elements in order to design a huge vertical terrace, but also a bar and some toilets - changing rooms, both of them collocated at the base of the structure. Next to the panoramic tower are situated three info points in the shape of lower structures made of only two piled cubes . Their function is to promote the activities and the events organized by the town and the territory as for culture, nature and sport and to rent out all the equipments that are necessary to undertake them. In the green areas of the open space defined by the organic curves there are the so called “Free Box”, flexible structures provided with cushions and a shelf so that the user can choose how to spend his time in these shells that ensure some privacy even in a public space. The last type of wooden cubes is the “Tree Box” (inspired by the famous “Tree Hotel”), thanks to which the user can enjoy the real contact with nature and the separation from the urban chaotic atmosphere. In the end we focused on the two ex railway buildings situated in the “Mazzucchelli area”, trying to combine the existing structures with our wooden cubes in order to design brand new spaces for “Gli Amici della Valmorea”, a local association deeply involved in the promotion of the territory. The final result is a modern public spaces where either the needs of local inhabitants or those of tourists are satisfied in order to increase the value of a territory characterized by a great potential strength. Ttnc è il nome del gruppo nato dalla collaborazione tra Sara Ciavatta, Giorgina Colleoni, Giovanni Colombara, Aline De Souza Froes e Marco Gastoldi, studenti che frequentano il corso di Laurea Magistrale in Interior Design al Politecnico di Milano. Dopo essersi incontrati in un contesto puramente universitario hanno deciso di collaborare per promuovere i loro lavori, partecipando quindi ad esposizioni e concorsi internazionali. Durante il percorso di studi hanno, inoltre, sviluppato particolare interesse per il tema dello spazio pubblico, che rappresenta sfida e motivo di riflessione progettuale, poiché viene percepito come un luogo per lo più insicuro, degradato e abbandonato. Il loro approccio al design si basa, pertanto, sullo studio della quotidianità, sull’analisi dei bisogni e dei desideri come fonte di ispirazione, meraviglia e sorpresa. Ognuno di loro, infine, ha intrapreso un’ esperienza di studio e lavoro all’estero per poter mettere alla prova le capacità acquisite e per ampliare le loro conoscenze.