In partnership with Gonçalo Byrne and Joao Nunes, MICROSCAPE has completed the urban transformation of the former Pini Horse Race Course, converting it into the centre of the new Central Park of Follonica. The show arena and the market area are the most extensive works of the integrated sustainable urban development programme implemented by the city with European funds. The urban project has been built as a real "landscape design", where the archetype of the Maremma dune landscape is linked to the terraced culture of the Tuscan hinterland. The project is thus a catalyst for the history, the life flow and the contemporary instances of urban ecology. We have not created a model but a process that interprets all the components of the landscape as a whole: it is a system of elements connected to each other so that all the buildings represent a single structure. A weave of codes and signs identify the two functional areas, i.e. the show arena and the market area. The show arena is designed as a U-shaped artificial hill creating an open space in the landscape where concerts can be held for a large audience; the market area, in addition to fulfilling the technical role of a place for trade, is also the green lung of the city, thanks to the widespread tree and shrub vegetation.
All the lighting has been installed using Led sources and the big lighthouse towers have been kept; they have been optimised from the energy perspective and reactivated, bringing back the memory of the old race course.
The floors have been designed to have the largest surface possible permeable to rainwater. The three wood “cabanon” contain a small kiosk-bar and public toilets.
The new laminated wood bridge, with a minimalist design, connects the market area with the former Fonderie Leopoldine. 1445 trees, 23431 shrubs, 212 market stalls, 2720 seats in the stalls and 10,000 seats in the auditorium: these are the figures of the new Central Park. First there was the urban void of the horse race track, now there is the park to be experienced both by day and by night, where citizens can take a walk in the green setting and rediscover the natural landscape of the river Petraia and the Gora that crosses the city.