Urban renovation, Mixed Use, Public space
Municicpality of Biella
BAM! Design Team
Simona Della Rocca
The hospital bequeathed to the city of Biella is a heritage. One that must accommodate a new identity able to overcome the crisis of the local territory, which for decades was linked to a single manufacturing sector. The size of the site is the reason for choosing an articulated, integrated and cohesive intervention that combines services, commercial activities, as well as spaces for living and tourism. This new urban nucleus also becomes the site of all manufacturing and creative industry in Biella. Today they are spread around the nearby area, but located together they find a new strength.
The strategy is aimed primarily at the urban scale reconnection of the downtown with the river area and the industrial sector with the surrounding urban fabric. The demolition results in a new important axis, connecting the old town and the river, and a large public space in the center of the site. This is set up as a place of support for the activities in the square, with a system of slight irregularities and a network of fixed furniture that creates informal play spaces, parking areas and open spaces for events and retail activity.
The intervention on the pre-existing nineteenth century structure is emphasized by a system of fifths, tidying up the open spaces and identifying access points. In the postwar era, a the new functional program is produced through the partial emptying of the volume. The aim is to integrate it in the urban context and create viewpoints over the surrounding countryside.