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Place: Varese


The redevelopment starts from the former Garibaldi barracks, which becomes the new recreational and cultural center at the service of the city. Among the public facilities there are the civic and children's library, the municipal historical archive, study room and auditorium. These functions, now scattered in different locations, are all concentrated in the building in order to give a new highly strategic character to the property. The idea, therefore, is to make the public space “alive” during the day, starting with the complete demolition of the existing stepped structures.


The project has as its fundamental purpose the recovery and reuse of the sector, maintaining and enhancing its original architectural and typological configuration, to be connected, however, with the square and in which to place the library and the related functions. To create this continuity with the public space of the square, the existing portico and the internal courtyard have been reopened, an area intended for parking that will be arranged in green, with trees, ponds and seats, and will host a space for external arrangement of the bar.
Furthermore, the complete demolition of the existing buildings in a bad state of conservation (buildings in via Pavesi) and the demolition and reconstruction in the same area of the sector of via S. Michele, which will house the exit ramp from the underground parking and some of the functions attached to the library.
There are two entrances, on via Magenta and on the square (via Spinelli).

The ground floor is composed as follows:

    - central area with entrance and bar;  

    - wing of the new building, where the exit ramp of the underground parking, the urban police and attached bathrooms are located

    - opposite wing to the new building, where there are the elderly room, the bathrooms, the library.

Stairs and elevators lead to the upper floors. The first floor is composed as follows:

    - the central area, intended for offices;  

    - right wing (new building), conference / music rooms;  

    - the left wing (on via Magenta), which incorporates the Mirabella library and the children's library.

The second floor is designed following these guidelines:

    - the central area and the left wing, intended for study / reading and administration rooms;  

    - the right wing, which houses the screening room.

A further staircase leads to the attic floor, where the archive area has been planned.


The redevelopment of Piazza della Repubblica started from the need to clean it of any kind of clutter and superfetation, leaving as fixed points the pedestrian and vehicular accesses to the underground parking as well as its necessary light wells.
The idea behind the proposal is to create an altimetric gradient between the level of via Bizzozero and the height of the square itself. The solution adopted is therefore that of a staircase that varies in the style of contour lines, such as to allow the green exploitation of its terraces and the creation of a gentle and continuous walkway that can be used on foot, by bicycle and also accessible in case of disability. .
Within this terrace, spaces have been created to serve as a bar and information point for citizens, maintaining access to the underground parking.
The terracing system was connected to the roof provided on the north-west side in front of the shopping center, so as to create a natural extension of the same. The roof, also conceived as a shield to the façade of the center itself, is able to perform multiple functions at the same time. It is conceived as a cover of the underlying space that can be used for the holding of markets or temporary fairs but is also used as a pedestrian path at a height in order to create a terrace overlooking the square itself. The profile overlooking the square can be used in the summer months for the installation of an outdoor cinema and its projection screen, while the green area can become the ideal background for the apartments on the highest level of the shopping center. In addition, the helical staircase in the center allows the terrace to be directly connected to the spaces below as well as to enhance the skylight at the square level.
Finally, the central light well of the square becomes a focal point of the square and its characteristics are enhanced through a play of water around it and with a floor with concentric rays.

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