The rough stone fortress walls of the medieval Castelgrande are interrupted with clean, brutalist geometries — a dichotomy captured by Italian photographer Simone Bossi.
'Preserve = Transform' was the slogan hold up through the long process of restoration that lasted more than twenty years. In the relationship between ancient and contemporary, in this unavoidable conflicts someone can really face this straight comparison between past and present without subordinating the latter alleging the higher values of the past. In the past, during 6000 years, from the birth of the Neolithic village on the hill, this relationship has been repeatedly made without the difficulties which today meets, giving the whole building that particular beauty that comes from layering different ages. I did not want to stop this process during my task, but give it continuation in the contemporary world. However, after 25 years of works, what will be more enduring is that done quietly, disregarding major conflicts: the introduction of the territorial dimension and scale within the concept of restoration.
"The commission was only about the buildings on the top of the rock. I believed it was more important to give the restoration an urban dimension. In the end, the project develops some secondary spaces to support the city producing a park, a public park in the city of Bellinzona only made of rock, stone walls, four trees and a lake in the sky. A park is a place to go and stay, and so this proposal involves a route through a public space, a void that connects people with the great landscape down to lake maggiore, on the Alps." — Aurelio Galfetti