The urban redevelopment project “PIU (Urban Innovation Project)” in the Macrolotto Zero, district of the city of Prato, in Tuscany (Italy), aims to create public spaces and services in a strongly industrialized and inhabited area, which had begun a phase of abandonment by both the productive activities and residents.
The Macrolotto Zero’s area is 44 hectares wide, close to the city’s historic centre, but has the characteristics of an isolated urban suburb, high population density, and absence of public services or green areas. Over the years many industrial activities in the Macrolotto have been abandoned, increasing the urban decay, illegal acts and the progressive isolation of the neighbourhood.
The Municipality decided that it was essential to prescribe a situation of progressive worsening of the standard of living in the area.
The project was conceived in order to prescribe a situation of progressive worsening of the standard of living in the area. “PIU Prato” involved the construction of a media library, a bar, a place for coworking, a square, a metropolitan market and a multifunction playground.
The playground, which stands on the area previously used as an illegal parking and storage area of the now abandoned industrial complex, has become one of the few uncovered areas of the Macrolotto, also introducing a previously completely absent green wooded area. The park is divided into zones: a fitness area, a playground, a skate park, a wooded area and an outdoor cinema.
The choice of street furniture elements to be included in the project fell on the monolithic seats made by Metalco and the sportive sculpture of MyEquilibria.
More specifically, the ANASTASIO and MAKATITE lines were used. These products are all modular seats made of PDM (Reconstituted Stones) which can be positioned in combination with each other or, as in this case, as stand-alone elements. Their simple, solid and linear shape blends perfectly with the aesthetics of the playground, made up of colourful geometric shapes that with their shapes delimit the different areas into which the playground is divided.
The TREE LINE products, on the other hand, thanks to their motif that recalls the branches of trees, have been positioned within the green area, in an area that will one day be shaded by the new trees that have been planted.
A further reference to trees is the MY TREE fitness equipment by the MyEquilibria company, which managed the fitness area of the project and whose mission is to redefine the training experience by finding a new balance between nature, innovation and a healthy lifestyle.
The opening of the park to the public was an opportunity to evaluate the results of this urban transformation. The project’s success is evidenced by the very high rate of participation by residents of all ages of the Macrolotto.
Every element of urban furniture designed by Metalco is available in the online catalogue that can be downloaded for free from the company’s website.
(Lead Architects : Arch. Michela Brachi, Arch. Massimo Fabbri, Ing. Alessandro Pazzagli)
Published on May 18, 2022