When in the city of Torino, what immediately strikes the eye are its surroundings, with imposing Alpine peaks that encircle its skyline. The Piedmontese Capital presents itself as a city with a singular charm: emperors traversed it, kingdoms arose in it, and it was thus that power left its indelible marks on it. Torino today is a metropolis that regards its past by looking toward the future, with the ambition of a city that, as a tiny village in the Region of Piedmont, became the capital of both a realm and a nation, only to later become a capital of cars and cinema.
The flavour of Torino is modern-day moderation meets leftover luxury from its 18th-Century heyday. It carries an aspect of youth and vitality, given its numerous locales – from bars to wineries – proliferating in all points, beginning with its centre, Piazza Castello.
The palazzi that made history for this sub-Alpine capital are the city’s shining glories; this is not only the heart of the Kingdom of Savoy but the theatre of Italy’s Unification. Not to mention the residence for the kings and nobles of a certain epoch.
“TORINO IS THE DEEPEST, MOST ENIGMATIC AND BEAUTIFUL CITY, NOT ONLY IN ITALY, BUT IN THE WORLD.”
Giorgio de Chirico
The park project is the result of an international call for tender launched in spring 2004; the winning tender was the group headed by Peter Latz, author of the post-industrial park in the Ruhr Basin, and made up of Latz + Partner, Studio Pession Associato and Studio Cappato. The working group has designed a park that alternates strictly naturalistic areas, consisting of large lawns and tree-lined spaces, with others that are more anthropic, which maintain a strong relationship with the pre-existing elements, giving them new functions. It is the first Italian post-industrial park, where industrial archeology, green areas, art, sport and culture come together to give back to the citizens the spaces of the heavy industry. The distinctive feature of the park is undoubtedly the immense warehouse of the ironworks, the complex of steel mills where Fiat produced the raw material for car components. Below, a huge square equipped with a skate park and playgrounds has been created, which sometimes hosts events; only the steel pillars and concrete walls of the other steel mills have been preserved to form a large post-apocalyptic garden. In the background there are the cooling towers of the former thermal power plant, where young and international street artists leave their mark. In front of the Fiat Ironworks there was the Michelin plant, now completely replaced by lawns, trees and cycle lanes: the only survivor is a large cooling tower 30 meters high.
From “Guida al Turismo Industriale” by Jacopo Ibello (Morellini Editore, 2020)