Renewal of Piazza Nicola Cavalieri

Client Rome City Council, Department of Gardens
Project: Massimo Fagioli
Project team: Corrado Landi, Francesco Mirone
Surface: 1,800 sq mtrs

Engineering consultants: Alfonso Posati
Director of works: Giovanni Velli
Sponsored: ANDIL Associates
Roadwork: Edilizia Integrale srl, Rome
Metalwork: Co-Metal sas, Naples
Bronze: Artistic Foundary Anselmi snc, Rome
Public lighting: ACEA, Rome


Piazza Cavalieri, situated in the Villa Bonelli quarter along the Via Portuense, is a small public space onto which front buildings of the 1970s which have no particular architectural merit. The Eastern and Western sides are occupied by shops serving the residents while the Northern and Southern sides are characterised by privately owned green spaces and by the small hill on which rises the Casale of Vigna Pia. The space, which was without pavements and full of parked vehicles along all four sides, is a rectangular area of about 45x40 metres.
The project for the square was conceived as the definition of an essential geometry which extends throughout all the free space between the buildings, leaving at the centre an area delineated as garden space. The space is on street level thus eliminating any barrier, either formal or pedestrian, and enlarging the size of the square. An octagonal fulcrum is the propulsatory centre of eight rays and a 'Giant' silently reinforces their movement and sends one's gaze upwards. It is an eight metre sculptured fountain in bronze the proportions of which are in harmony with the space and which declares itself as a link with the history of Baroque Rome but, at the same time, the expressiveness of the work is strongly modern with an image in which the volume is 'cut' by clean lines which suggests the temporality of the gesture which it has traced. A zinc-plated metal frame covered by a bronze alloy produced by the cire perdue process supports the fountain.
A pathway about 2.50 metres wide permits one to walk around the fountain. It has been completed by four benches in 'kernel' form designed explicitely for the garden with travertine bases and high curved backrests in staves of Iroko wood. The unusual appearance has proved to be in perfect rapport with the human body and with the need for harmony and comfort. Between the lines of the path in red bricks and the perimeter of the central space eight flowerbeds have been aligned and planted with bushes of Buxus Sempenirens and other evergreen plants such as Abelia Rupestris and Osmarea x Burwoodii. Four street lamps have been installed at each corner to direct the light towards the centre of the square and at the same time allow illumination of the surrounding space.



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