Parco Dora, Turin

On their website, Latz+Partner, responsible for the design of Parco Dora in Turin, explain their understanding of post-industrial landscapes perfectly:  “Our new conceptions must design landscape along with both accepted and disturbing elements, both harmonious and interrupting ones. The result is a metamorphosis of landscape without destroying existing features, an archetypal dialogue between the tame and the wild. Specific architecture for specific uses does not need to be built. The imagination lets the existing ones be re-interpreted and used in new ways. Artefacts can develop that pursue natural processes in derelict surroundings according to ecological rules started and maintained by technological processes. It is the idea of making time visible.

In the Ruhr area, we tend to think that our post-industrial landscapes are unique, such as Landscape Park Duisburg-Nord. But we must acknowledge that is was “only” one of the first parks of this kind. It was created by Latz + Partner too. It is good to see that meanwhile Latz + Partner have very successfully transferred former industrial sites into unique landscapes in many countries.

Parco Dora includes five separate areas whose functional differences and aesthetic impacts are based on the quality of the industrial remains. So, you can find a “great tree-lined square” along the river, other section arranged in lawn, wooded areas, areas equipped for the game, flower beds and a water garden with deep tubs and water channels in motion or an area dominated by the imposing structure of A former stripping shed with parts of the roof and its high steel pillars painted red.

Parco Dora in Turin was nominated by two members of the jury – not including our Italian member – because they know Duisburg-Nord and could find the tradition, but also the evolution in the concept from Duisburg to Turin. Can we say that there is more Italian style, friendliness and openness in Parco Dora compared to the often rough and grey Duisburg Nord? And Parco Dora seems to be a perfect location to be used by the local people, connecting several areas in the fabric of the city, while Duisburg is quite isolated, but attracting enthusiasts from abroad?  But there is no need to make a ranking, they are both worthwhile a visit, and Parco Dora is worthwhile to receive a 2nd Prize today.

Website: Latz+Partner

(Text by Christian Grüßen for the presentation during the awarding ceremony. Photo: Ornella Orlandini)