Serena Confalonieri presents “Quadra” as part of the initiative, promoted by the Municipality of Milan, “Piazze Aperte”: a graphic art project for the enhancement and characterization of tactical urbanism interventions in specific city areas.
Quadra is part of the redevelopment activities of a former parking lot in Via Val Lagarina, in Quarto Oggiaro district, in collaboration with the volunteers of the Milanese association WAU! and with the students of I.C.S. “Via Val Lagarina”, the school adjacent the lot.
The aim of this initiative is to create a recreational space open to everyone, that could enhance the existing areas and encourage the neighbors to a new fruition.
The project conceived by Serena Confalonieri is inspired by a both educational and playful concept: a graphic subdivision of the 600sqm lot through a grid that recalls the sheets of squared notebooks, hence the title of the work.
This grid was then decorated using primary colors and simple geometric shapes as a starting point: these are the signs and tones that children learn and draw in the pages of their school notebooks.
The layout of Quadra was painted in person by students and volunteers at the launch of the initiative on May 8th, 2021.
"It was very stimulating to have the opportunity to work on a project on such a large scale, which fits into a strongly characterized urban and social fabric. We designed this graphic intervention considering all of the functional and aesthetic needs, but also, and above all, the needs and the external stimuli that children require in order to play and interact. With Quadra we wanted to work side by side with the students and their parents, not only during the design phase, but also during the realization, in order to involve them directly and give them a sense of direct belonging to this new colorful urban space. "
According to the students and the parents association’s requests, the designer also inserted in the grid, beside the shapes and the color fields, green areas and floor games.
Chess, twister and hopscotch boards, and the areas dedicated to the didactic vegetable garden, contribute to the transformation of this former parking lot into a colorful urban oasis, aiming to become an interactive space for recreation and aggregation.
The design process had to consider a number of conditions and requests, such as the simplicity of the graphic, that allows to be easily painted by the kids, a limited number of colors available and a limited freedom in space organization.
The new layout of this area develops from a central path - based on 4x4 m modules - that allows the passage of emergency vehicles. Proceeding outwards these bigger modules split into intermediate 2x2 m modules, that host the green spaces and the floor games and activities areas, and then into small 1x1 meter modules, that facilitate the compliance with social distancing standards close to the school exit area.
Furthermore, bicycle racks and new trees have been added and planted.
Serena Confalonieri's project wanted to combine aesthetics and function, giving life to a new aggregative and community dimension, made possible by sharing, using and caring for spaces.