Landscape In-Between is a project for the former
industrial area of Acetati in Verbania (IT).
With an attitude of carefully collecting and
radically exposing and recomposing materials, flows, historical layers and
traces of production engraved on site, the project sets out to explore the
nature of the city of today: its elements, processes, landscapes, territories,
and the spaces in-between.
Acetati, once an industrial periphery between Pallanza and Intra, today lies at
the heart of the urban fabric of Verbania. The site slowly emerges as a part of
a ‘backyard’: a fragmented territory of marginal spaces and forgotten
landscapes, where hidden productive activities takes place. Understanding the
nature of the site and embracing the metaphor of the backyard became our point
of departure for the project.
II. Rediscovery of the River
Currently, the city is orientated
towards its scenic lakefront. We propose to bring the San Bernardino river ‘back
on the map’ allowing to reconnect Verbania’s territory from the lakefront
toward the mountains. We imagine the river to become a thread along which a
sequence of landscape episodes unfolds. This figure becomes an element of
biodiversity that enable slow movement for pedestrians and bicycles.
2., 4. San Bernardino River after flooding, 19th century (courtesy Museo del Paesaggio Verbania);
3. Textile bleaching activities on San Giovanni River.
III. Four Ecologies
Learning from the
productive history of Verbania, an idea emerges: natural processes and productive
activities have developed in synergy, complementing each other. Building upon
this tradition, our project sets forward the idea of an ecology where ‘production’
and its territory are conceived as one. Following fragments on site, we discover four
distinct ecologies present on the area: Stones, Water, Green and Industrial
2. Stonecutters in Baveno Quarry, 1920-30 (courtesy Museo del Paesaggio Verbania);
3. Water channel in Intra;
4. Intra, cityscape of chimneys, early 20th century.