The Centro S. Chiara installation and signage: an upcycling site specific public projectThe Centro S. Chiara, property of Trento Municipality,... Read More
The Centro S. Chiara installation and signage: an upcycling site specific public project
The Centro S. Chiara, property of Trento Municipality, is located near an urban park in the city center, in a medieval former convent. Since the 80's the two theatres of the Centro, have hosted several events and attracted people of all ages and different cultures. On the other hand, part of the complex, abandoned for ages, is in a severe state of disrepair and there are offensive and xenophobic writings on the walls, evidence of urban and civil decay. The Centro S. Chiara's signage hadn't been updated since the 90s and the lighting had been insufficient.
The project consists of several elements of urban furniture, including totems for advertising, totems with information and direction signs, wall claddings with shelves for displaying flyers and a new LED outdoor lighting. This artistic installation focuses on the great social responsibility of urban furniture project: a high quality urban design have to promote social and environmental sustainability. Both designers and client believe that the culture, represented by Centro S. Chiara, can fight the decay of the urban complex. These beliefs have inspired the concept idea of the upcycling.
The installation and the signage re-use the old billboards, used for advertising the past shows, collected over the years. With the upcycling, more than 200 panels, made of an aluminium sandwich, versatile but also expensive and hard to recycle, have been reused. They have been recovered, cut into stripes of 16 cm width, divided between warm, cold and neutral colours and lastly put back together, in an apparently random way, on a wood batten support frame.
In order to help visitors' orientation and in contrast with the multicolour stripes, the signage is made of brushed aluminium sheets. The warm colour stripes has been used as a visual focus for the theatres entrances and the cold and neutral colour stripes for the circulation spaces. Re-use is seen as a way to improve urban quality of life.
This installation speaks to the mind and the heart, and aims to touch people's feelings. At night, the lighting, enhances security and emphasizes both the new urban furniture and the historical architecture. The waste material, with its random pattern, teaches us that not only no one is perfect, but also society is enriched by diversity.
The writers' ethic says that it's not right to overwrite a graffiti. The installation's multicolour surfaces are not fitted for writings or vandalism; this has been proven true since there's no sign of vandalism months after the work's ended. Re-use as a new aesthetic, because the waste material, used repeatedly, has a strong visual impact.
During the construction, the citizens were very curious and asked for explanations; so it was decided to place, at the main entrance, a text explaining the project. Over time, new elements will be added to the permanent installation, continuing the work of educating at the importance of removing disparities and giving a second chance.
This project was shortlisted for the Wood – Architecture of Necessity 2019 (Sweden) and winner at the Big See 2019 (Slovenia).