Tremulini Square

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This is an urban regeneration project. The new square stands on an area of about 2000 square meters previously occupied by a series of houses demolished in the mid-90s, from there the lack of redevelopment of the building grounds has generated neglect and degradation in aclassic reference to the concept of third landscape by Gilles Clément. The result of this short-circuit is an area of 2000 square meters located between two characterized blocks from an overall architectural homogeneity.

The Court of the Metropolitan City

Given the characteristics previously described, the area subject to intervention is configured as a “court”, a collective neighborhood space, set apart from the general urban flows (streets, squares, gardens) but which assumes a very high value from the point of view of the endowment of neighborhood and the livability of a medium-large portion of the urban fabric.

The courts play a very important role in the urban history of the city of Reggio Calabria since the first reconstruction after the earthquake of 1783 with the first orthogonal layout of Mori plan, and going to consolidate through the next De Nava plan, scoring a lot the boundary between the neoclassical “planned” city and the spontaneous one. However, the very often private and fragmentary nature of the courts in the urban blocks of Reggio Calabria areas has bound them together to a state of abandonment depriving them of any value.
It is precisely that aesthetic, functional and social value of the courts that is placed at the center of the project, identifying some elements that are considered essential to ensure that the intervention reflects needs, which arouses identity in the inhabitants and doesn’t result in a simple redevelopment destined to be abandoned after a few years.


The main function entrusted to the court is that of an equipped space for collective use intended for promote social aggregation in an ideal dimension to fulfill this purpose, that of neighborhood endowment, thus inserting itself into a modest but effective intervention perspective on a medium-large portion of urban territory.

For this purpose, interventions have been planned to confer various functions:

  1. Playful, with the placement of some game equipment.
  2. Collective, providing a free area to host events, screenings and shows.
  3. Relax, designing a series of spaces interspersed with vegetation, pergolas, trees and seats ideal for the elderly, for parents accompanying children, or simply for whom needed a break.
  4. Environmental, the redevelopment of the area, the grafting of selected and suitable plant essences, as well as preserving the permeability of the soil, it will guarantee an improvement of the environmental aspect of what can currently be considered as a waste area.
  5. Economic, not to be overlooked the multiplier effect that the redevelopment of an area has in terms of increase in the real estate value of the buildings facing it with consequent incentive for individuals to redevelop their properties in turn.

Obviously the sum of all these aspects only fulfills that social function required to any public space intervention, with the aim of facilitating social aggregation and solidarity. Particular attention is paid to two categories sensitive to the dysfunctions of modern society: children and elderly.

While for the first they opted for the creation of a space away from roads or crowded areas, a free but “controlled” environment, for the latter was thought an equipped area to play board games as well as to characterize the whole vegetation with urban crops (vine pergolas, flower beds with aromatic plants and the possibility of small cultivation). A choice that, originating from tradition, can offer on the one hand the possibility of commit free time to the elderly and, on the other hand, ensure the care and maintenance of the space.

The vegetation includes the selection of species with a strong indigenous, ornamental and “traditional” connotation:

– For the pergolas is foreseen the use of vines, jasmine, ivy and hypomea;
– In the terraced flowerbeds is foreseen the planting of ground cover species like Carpobrotus edulis;
– The planting of Mediterranean officinal shrubs is envisaged for the flowerbeds grazing the flooring: rosemary, laurel, sage and lavender.
– Bergamot is provided for tree species (within an area that enhances its ornamental value, a small bergamot garden), and Tilia cordata for the resistance and the thick foliage capable of generating a large shadow cone.

Project details

Design: APlab
Project Location: Reggio Calabria, Italy
Typology: Public square
Built: 2019-2020
Design year: 2018
Design team: Andrea Lonetti, Chiara Saraceno
Lighting design: linea T4 Platek
Urban furniture: BenitoUrban, Manufattiviscio
Photo credits: © Andrea Mauro



APlab is an architecture and landscape laboratory that ranges from interior design to the complex prject of urban and rural areas, intertwining the Mediterranean tradition with the contemporaneity of formal language.