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The city of plastic flowers
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The City Of Plastic Flowers

Elena Pettenello, Marta Morandi, Marta Malatesta

A walk through contemporary architecture in Genoa: Parco delle Mura by Ignazio Gardella.


The video "The City Of Plastic Flowers" was conceived and filmed by students of the "Architectural Design" course held by Valter Scelsi at Genoa University. The aim was to focus attention on contemporary architecture and its maintenance: when architectural value is overlooked, even valuable buildings are affected by deterioration.

The short film questions the potential of neglected spaces. The video depicts "Parco delle Mura," a park designed by Ignazio Gardella. The green area is located near the Business Centre of the Regional Government, built in the Sixties. Here the concrete and glass façades of buildings stand next to each other in an irregular arrangement not far removed from the medieval "Barbarossa walls," which represent memories of the city's past.

Today, there is a sense of nostalgia here, imbued with regret, doubts and insecurities that plagued the project from the outset. In fact, to make way for modern office buildings, a large downtown district with historical and popular edifices was demolished. The citizens have not yet come to fully accept these new buildings whose construction has resulted in the destruction of a living part of the ancient city. The park was created around the new buildings. Moreover, the park has always been viewed as a scar by the city, so much so that it inspired the name "Plastic Gardens," used only as place of passing and dwelling for the homeless, set to degrade and deteriorate.

Through the eyes of the two protagonists in the video we can grasp the ambivalence of this space. The area has been abandoned to decline, but it has strong potential. "Parco delle Mura" is located within the historical centre and is linked to the wide-ranging offices used throughout the day. If properly maintained, it could become an important green area which could be exploited by employees, students and citizens as a whole as a place of leisure and meeting. This would allow it to find the identity it that has always been denied.

Authors icon Credits

Author: Cecilia Bruni
Architect: Ignazio Gardella
Mentioned project: Parco delle Mura
Project location: Genoa, Italy

Italy 2016
Duration: 1'49''