previous stateThe Vasca Carmine, once isolated in the countryside, was formerly a reservoir that collected rainwater and surface water draining from Monte Somma in order to supply the crops and agricultural irrigation channels in the surrounding areas. With the progressive spurts of growth of Pomigliano d'Arco, in particular during the decades of the sixties and seventies, the area ended up encircled by new urban settlements. With the loss of its original function as a reservoir, even though it remained as a consolidated reference point in the city, it had also lost its essential features to become an inaccessible and uncontrollable place. In recent years, an asphalted parking lot at one of its boundaries had virtually represented its single urban function. All in all, thanks to its huge dimensions as open ground, it was subjected to uncontrolled use as an illegal open-air rubbish tip thus jeopardising environmentally its potential as open space.
aim of the interventionAn intensive process of occupation of the city's other open spaces and the aforementioned urban growth gave the Vasca Carmine area a significant position within the urban structure of Pomigliano d'Arco, even while it was one of the few open areas of any significant dimension left within the city. This fact, along with serious hygiene and environmental problems occasioned by improper and indiscriminate use of the zone, led the City Council to produce a project that would palliate the severe lack of green space in the inner city while also resolving the problems of this malfunctioning. Its vast surface, its proximity to a major road junction, and its strategic position within the urban surroundings of Naples meant that, with its conversion into public space, it could play a major role at regional level as an urban park of metropolitan characteristics. The desire to respond to these two vocations – local and metropolitan – and to take the opportunity to structure and give meaning to the immediate urban context that made the project possible, were the guiding principles in planning the construction of the park.
descriptionThe project took shape in the definition of a large esplanade in keeping with the topographic essence of the city of Pomigliano d'Arco with the significant exception of the area where the old reservoir had once been. Once the work of consolidating the land, cleaning and tree planting had been carried out, this was to remain as a depression, becoming an element in dialogue with the natural lines of the place. Thus the formalisation of the project has been governed by the relation between two geometric factors: one regular and relating to flat surfaces, the other more organic and linked to the morphological evolution of the Vasca Carmine, around the hollows of which were articulated a new series of routes that are freer in their definition than those elsewhere in the park.
The relationship of the park with the streets flanking it has been established by means of a number of entrance spaces with tree-lined parking lots, planned with the urban logic in mind and consisting of transparent constructed volumes conceived as elements of transition between the city and the new public park. These edicules, basically designed as exhibition spaces, and which evoke the importance of greenhouses in the history of parks, have been set on masonry bases that house installations and services. The tectonics of these bases is reflected in the general paving of the entrance areas with Vesuvius stone.
In the central part of the park, girdled by different itineraries, there is a large green surface of 40 x 160m bounded by a tree-planted zone on one side and a series of gardens with typological variations on the other. Amid the green and water surfaces it is planned to construct a large hall for musical events and theatre and this, built up on a base that is to be analogous to those of the entrance areas of the park, will be highlighted both as a central area and also as separate from the predominant natural setting. A botanical garden, planned along the lines of the old agrarian organisation, and two other gardens specifically created as games spaces will enhance the experiences offered by the park.
assessmentFull of interesting contrasts, this project, in keeping with a metropolitan reading, combines a certain monumental feeling with a set of spaces that are appropriate for an almost domestic appropriation, on the local scale, by the residents of the district. It successfully relates its volumes with the urban context, articulating them with different green spaces that are specifically and responsibly planned without overlooking the park as a whole or falling into the trap of thematic obsessions. Attentive to its historical circumstances and context, the new park represents the construction of a large open space that establishes new relations between the recent architecture of this pseudo-peripheral area, now substantially improved, and the consolidated city, while still recalling the importance of parks as spaces for reflection on urban form and structure.
Mònica Oliveres i Guixer, architect