GHOST - Parco La Favorita
The reuse of Gio Ponti's villa foundations in Valdagno
In the remote case the right project for the competition site would exist, it should be Gio Ponti's one, in its version A, B or C – not forcefully the last.
When the construction of the villa stopped at its foundations, during the II World War, Valdagno was still a company town, gravitating around one production and one family, who envisioned for its inhabitants a privileged condition. The axis connecting the river with the Villa Favorita is the path which kept together some of most important public functions, as the theatre and the the workers wool and food store.
Since then a lot have changed – the "social city" lost intensity following the progressive de-industrialization of the wool factory, the theatre renovated its façade two times before being turned into an unsustainable cinema and then closed. Notwithstanding many other social institution ceased, the social city haven't completely extinguished, and in many case just changed its shape.
In 2008 the fence wall between Parco la Favorita and the city has been torn down, freeing the park for Valdagno citizens. Inside the park, in the exact centre of the esplanade, fitting perfectly in the symbolic axis connecting the private residence of the factory-owner and his urban creature, something is missing.
GHOST is the phantom of the never-built villa, the new vanishing point of an incomplete perspective.
Architecture could absorb these uncertainties by means of a generous and well determined intervention. The room has a rectangular shape, 30 m wide, 36 m deep and 9 m high; it is enclosed by a fabric net that, while disappearing during the day, gets very defined edges when lit during the night. The net is sustained by a perimeter of very thin white steel poles, 6m distance one from each other.
The net, when suspended from the wires that connect the poles, defines an intangible ceiling. The room is open to the elements and the changing seasons, while being at the same time secluded from the exterior by a thin white veil. It could host different programs: urban beach, theatre, open-air cinema, small concerts and fashion shows. Whenever empty, the room perfectly works.