Piazza don Gustavo Cece_Roma
The administration of the Municipality of Rome has implemented and set in motion an important project for the requalification of the area located in Via Casal Selce facing the parish dedicated to Don Gustavo, from whom it takes its name. The language underlying the project is post-rationalist and follows the lines of traditional Roman baroque, closely linking the place of worship to the area dedicated to collective meeting-places, represented as a natural extension of the Church itself.
Etched by the sun, the pure geometrical lines and slabs of masonry offer sharp shadows marking the architectural rapport between the different grains of the materials used: the roughness of the porous tuff paving blocks, the solidity of the Roman travertine benches, the airiness bestowed by fragrant trees like the field-maples, cypress-poplars and lobed, starred magnolias with pale, green leaves mirrored in steel wind-guard, breaking up the user’s optical axis - all together they offer a multi-sensory richness.
The project stems from the analysis of the pattern formed by the plots of land in the adjacent, agricultural areas, freed from malaria and devoted to the cultivation of vegetable gardens. These
marks on the landscape of the figurative memory of the landscape architect Tommaso Allegra, stretch beyond the painting by Paul Klee ‘Main road, lesser road’ depicting the lands of North
Africa and enucleate, in the light of the genius loci a well-rooted and participated project.
The square is designed as a ‘solid perspective’ with a theatrical matrix, due not only to its splayed planimetry, but also to the decreasing and accelerated scale of the green diaphragms created with metal meshes turfed with flowering rincosperma. The decreasing rhythm of the green septas to the left of the square, a tribute to renaissanceprospects, reminiscent of Borromini (Palazzo Spada), determine the optical illusion of a pointer
indicating the infinite . The other side is screened by an field-maple avenue, parallel to a row of cypress-poplars, a filter between the meeting place and the play-area dedicated to children.
Along the three, straight thoroughfares, symbolically associated respectively, with acceleration (turfed septas), regularity (maple avenue) and immovability (cypress-poplar rows) are large,
benches in monolythic travertine blocks which, suspended and supported, rest in apparent disorder on the horizontal plane surfaced with dry-bedded, knife-edge tuff elements. The seats
are laid out, unevenly, on irregular blocks at varying heights, giving a faceted effect and breaking up the creative rhythm.
The square ends with four, steel columns in golden proportion between them, bearing motionless witness to the conclusion of an open space, as illusory as life itself:
Arch. Tommaso Allegra