The´Piazza del Mare´ in Varigotti, Savona

The 'Piazza del Mare', Varigotti, Savona
  • The 'Piazza del Mare', Varigotti, Savona The 'Piazza del Mare', Varigotti, Savona
Client: Municipality of Finale Ligure
Chronology: Design: 1998 - Realization: 1999 - 2000
Architectural design: Mario Gallarati with Letizia Masciotta, Laura Roccatagliata.
Works manager: Mario Gallarati
Contractor: F.lli Ghigliazza s.p.a.

The project is part of a programme aiming at requalifying the territory and restoring the old centres in the commune of Finale Ligure, with punctual interventions on squares and public spaces meant to allow a better use of them by the community. These interventions concerning the nodal points of the settlement are particularly significant in the light of the historical process of genesis and development of the structures on the territory, for which they still cover- or better, still could cover if appropriately outfitted and exploited - the role of main "poles of aggregation".
Of all the interventions realized within this programme, the new arrangement of the stretch of "dead beach" included between the pier and the buildings of the old town to form a pedestrian square is the one that best qualifies as a strong element of touristic appeal and promises to produce positive effects on all the economic activities connected with tourism.
That stretch of beach, no longer washed by the sea and, as a consequence, subject to progressive degradation (due to dust, weeds, etc.) is the natural enlargement of the "Piazza della Marina", the main "pole" facing the sea of the historical core of Varigotti, a centre of aggregation for the whole of the touristic -recreational activities which characterize this tract of the Ligurian coast.
The inadequacy of the "dead beach" for any bathing function if on one hand has caused the residents to give up their traditional activities there, on the other hand has favoured the rise and development of a series of cultural initiatives, such as the "Castellani Cinema Award". Unfortunately, in a second time the progressive degradation of the site has caused the organizers to find a less precarious settling and leave underutilized a spot like this, between town and sea, of great suggestive power. It is starting from the realization of the great inexpressed potentialities of the "dead beach" of Varigotti, and also of the extreme delicacy of the area as a landscape, that the project has planned its partial transformation into an outfitted pedestrian square proper (about 600 square metres, in addition to the 450 square metres of the dam to exploit as a sea-side promenade) to be carried out with light interventions of minimum impact on the environment. The intervention consists, in fact, of two distinct parts: first, the existing promenade along the dam is conveniently restored and improved, with a new paving and outfitting realized in the local "pietra di Finale chiara" (light-pink Finale stone), alternating with large lists of "iroko" wood; secondly, the walk widens out towards the beach with a main board and a series of foot-bridges and ramps, all realized in large lists of"iroko" wood, over a structure made of wooden piles and beams.
Thanks to this intervention the walk becomes larger towards the beach, particularly in the eastern part, coinciding with the board to be realized at dam-level, and can be fitted out in the good season for continuative events (piano-bar, open-air cinema, etc.), or exceptional ones (shows, open-air concerts and events, fish festival, etc.) run by local associations and economic operators. Anyway, in winter too the "Piazza del Mare" represents a great resource with its spaces for free-time, open-air activities, set as they are in an extremely favourable natural frame.