Camilla's playground in Tavazzano with Villavesco, an example of sustainability and inclusiveness


Emma Potter

The park project

The area subject to the redevelopment intervention looked like a large green lawn, characterized by a spectacular double row of lime trees on the north side, corresponding to the driveway access from Via Morandi. The aim of the project was to preserve the beauty and qualities of the placeimplementing the greenery, reorganizing the existing routes – the accesses and the related travel directions, including the curvilinear avenue between the trees – and at the same time creating further possible itineraries that would give the space a new and better articulation, so as to make the most inclusive area that can be used easily and independently for all users.

“They were preserved and redeveloped part of the areas of the previous playground (former roller skating rink, circular platform for the carousel, sandpit) so that they could accommodate new accessible and inclusive play functions. The idea behind the project was to valorise such pre-existences, strengthening the connections between these spaces and the crossings as the area acts as a hinge between the residential part of the neighborhood and that of services. In relation to the park's specific vocation for children, with the plan design of the paths and functional elements for recreational activities, the aim was to represent a flower that blooms and grows among the buildings of the neighborhoodrepresented on the ground by the urban profile drawn with stones of different colors, in the entrance area on the South-East side. In this sense, pervious concrete proved to be particularly suitable for the purpose because it is a plastic material that lends itself well to modeling the shapes of the paths of the project design, favoring more fluid and faster connections and allowing the creation of crossings and paths free of architectural barriers, smooth and flat which allow everyone to reach the play spaces and recreational”, explains the engineer. Freda.

In fact, the park space also includes lawn areas, emerging roots, small depressions, earth and pebble paths and everything that pertains to the natural space, but the network of new paths still allows everyone to cross the entire area, to reach all the equipped islands and to access the games.

Camilla's playground in Tavazzano with Villavesco, an example of sustainability and inclusiveness Parco di Tavazzano 2 red

The design elements

In the park they were made of draining concrete i.idro DRAIN a3 m wide equipped axisparallel to via Papa Giovanni XXIII, which symbolically represents it flower stem and which connects and reinterprets the pre-existences, building a path from which three triangular-shaped peninsulas emerge, equipped with tables and seats, and a small amphitheater of trees consisting of a colored circular platform, which represents the corolla of the flower.

The platform is delimited on the south side by a continuous semicircular seat in white concrete; a curvilinear path that crosses the large area from south-east to north-west central, left as a lawn, which allows you to reach the former skating rink, redeveloped and transformed into a play area; a short pedestrian path, corresponding to the existing gate on the Giardino alley side, from which three rounded peninsulas equipped with seats branch off. Finally, the foundation was arranged and the existing avenue was extended between the rows of lime trees, up to the small amphitheatre, using stabilized earth and dry-laid pebbles and stone, recovering a typical material of the Lombardy area, with the classic “Lombard bristling” made with smooth river pebbles.

For each new route, equipped peninsula and for the amphitheater platform, a different pigment for paste coloring of draining concreteobtained by inserting red, brown, yellow, etc. oxides. “This solution was preferred because, as I have also personally seen having already used this product in other projects, the paste coloring of the i.idro DRAIN has an aging that involves a “color fading” such that it does not require restoration operationsas happens in the case of colored flooring on the surface”specifies Freda, who adds: “all areas can be used safely by everyone and in every season as this material allows for return the water to the aquifer, draining large volumes of rainwater and reducing the formation of ice due to unwanted water stagnation in winter, which is so dangerous on pedestrian paths. Thanks to its high percentage of voids, i.idro DRAIN is a environmentally sustainable material, resistant and draining, which can be perfectly integrated into the natural environment, the use of which allows a creative freedom that is difficult to obtain with other materials, creating a truly happy union between sustainability and creativity. The fact of being able to shape the colored paths that wind through the greenery without any constraints and interference from curbs, slopes and drainsallows the designer to best organize and structure a fully usable and totally inclusive space, in a fun and imaginative way, suitable for children, but also for adults”.

In addition to the square platform (former skating rink) on which the games are located, the project envisages the creation of differently arranged spaces which articulate the possibility of contextual use of the park for different categories of users.

“In particular, the circular space of the theater (south-west corner) can be used for the organization of small theatrical shows, concerts, presentation and reading of books and dance courses. The triangular platforms, in addition to the ordinary use of benches and seats, will be able to host snacks, small parties and birthdays. The paved area on the eastern front will occasionally host markets and small food stands. The large lawn area and the double row of lime trees complete and integrate the various equipment allowing, in addition to free and team play, also the organization of outdoor gym sessions and yoga lessons”specifies Freda.

Camilla's playground in Tavazzano with Villavesco, an example of sustainability and inclusiveness Parco di Tavazzano 1 red

Characteristics and installation of the drainage material

The matrix with a high percentage of interconnected voids of i.idro DRAIN allows for drainage up to 40 l/m2 of water per second and as well as avoiding the formation of puddles and ice sheets in hot seasons effectively breaks down the heat islandmaking the areas in which it is used cooler and more livable and contributing to the reduction of heat (up to 30 degrees compared to a typical asphalt pavement in highly urbanized places).

The value of SRI, Solar Reflectance Indexdepending on the different external areas, is always greater than 29, the minimum value established by CAM for external surfaces. As is known, the higher the value of the SRI index, the “cooler” the surface exposed to solar radiation will remain, showing a low rise in temperature. Also, thanks to particular porosity of the productthe surfaces created with i.idro DRAIN they absorb CO2 much faster than normal concretehave excellent mechanical capabilities and require a minimal maintenance. All the sustainability characteristics of the product and the environmental impacts linked to its production are certified by the environmental product declaration (EPD) of which it is in possession.

The pose of i.idro DRAIN was performed by i.buildthe concrete business unit of Heidelberg Materials specialized in flooring. “Like, – he confirms Andrea Cervatocommercial referent – we created all the areas with i.idro DRAIN, with continuous teamwork with the company, the works management and the client which allowed the Administration to achieve the results it had set itself: the redevelopment of an abandoned area and its return to public use of a vital space for the community, within a residential context and close to schools”.

“One of the great advantages of using this product – says the engineer. Freda – is to be able to count, from the initial proposal to the acquisition, up to the management and execution of the construction site, on the continuous comparison with the technicians of Heidelberg Materials, from a problem solving perspective, which has always allowed us to find the most suitable technical solution for the resolution of every construction site problem, with the aim of improving the durability and quality of the work”.

This is, in fact, the new approach collaboration with administrations, designers and companies from the design phase to the choice of materials, from the surface finish to the installation on site to achieve a common objective: environmental sustainability, generation of urban value and improvement of city liveability, three aspects which are the basis of the approach Heidelberg Materials to the market, thanks to products that every day contribute to transformation and renewal.

Camilla's playground in Tavazzano with Villavesco, an example of sustainability and inclusiveness Parco Camilla Tavazzano Lodi red

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