SAN DONÀ URBAN PARK
Project: Public Park
Location: San Donà di Piave, Venezia, Italy
Landscape Design: GSAssociati, Ravenna
Architecture: Cino Zucchi Architetti, Milan, Italy

Client: Comune di San Donà di Piave, Venezia, Italy
Year: 2006/2007
Photos: Courtesy of Cino Zucchi
Awards: Honourable Mention at Gold Medal For Italian Architecture, Triennale di Milano 2009; Invited at Architecture Exibition Biennale di Venezia 2010
Urban Park in San Donà di Piave, Venezia, Italy

The public commission by the city of San Donà di Piave wanted to design a small neighbourhood park located in the middle of one of these suburban developments was the occasion to experiment on the theme of a contemporary public space in this middle landscape. The design team was headed by architect Cino Zucchi of Milano. The shape of the given plot surrounded by two-to-four floors high houses has been redesigned to open it up to the south toward the main street. Next to this main access, the planned parking has been turned ninety degrees to form a bean-shaped surface paved in brightly coloured asphalt and screened by an earth dune recalling the river dams of the context.

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A main hard surface of small white pebbles cast in white concrete unifies the pedestrian paths, deforming its width, shape and level to become in turn a seat, an open-air auditorium, a fountain, a gathering place for kids, a bicycle route, a picnic spot. A spiralling wooden screen shelters a playground lit by a high lamp pole in the shape of a sprout. A continuous earthwork with land art shapes, rather than a number of separated services, respond to the few needs of well-being and leisure of a park, contributing to reduce rather than increase the visual and spatial disorder of the suburban sprawl.

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The typical broad leaves tree vegetation has been inspired by the local landscape after the ecologic analyses of the site. The park has already become a very lively meeting place at all hours, hosting relaxed newspaper readers as well as bmx bike acrobats, old ladies gossiping and youngsters playing guitar.

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