Naples, MdO

Mostra d’Oltremare, Naples – Italy
Garden for a new hotel, in a refurbished building of the 1930s

The project was a chance to redefine the landscape and functions of a place that is currently “left over”, used for parking, and turn this “left-out” place into a place that is fully integrated in a setting of great charm, featuring the best Italian architecture of the 1930s.
The design seeks to reconnect the urban layout of right angles that created the Exhibition complex with contemporary projects on Piazzale Tecchio.
A curving line created by Piazzale Tecchio’s semi-circle is the main route that cuts across the garden. It is intersected by three right angles at the building’s facade. In front of the facade there is a pool of water that symbolically echoes the swimming pool in the building’s inner courtyard. It is like a mirror that means to show everyone what the building is guarding jealously within.
The garden is organized on the shift in height of about a meter between the building and Largo Barsanti Matteucci. The new green sections are organized by the paths’ layout. They create “slabs” of ground at different levels, connected by gentle grassy or stone slopes. Starting from the level of the building’s sediment, they rise to street level.
The choice was made to create a small “moat”, emphasizing the existing shift in level and separating the garden physically from the outside area, while maintaining the perception of its landscape. At the top of the moat is a low metal fence echoing the one in Piazzale Tecchio. The “moat” also hid the ventilation grates for the parking lot under it.
A night lighting system for the area could make this piece of the ground very attractive, further highlighting this renovated entrance of the Mostra d’Oltremare.