Piazza Maggiore redevelopment

Martinengo, Bergamo, Italy

The heart of the historical centre of Martinengo is characterised from arcades, though only on one side of Piazza Maggiore (the Main Square) and of Tadino Street.

These arcades considered as a whole take the shape of an articulated  system of link areas between private and public life, where the stream of pedestrians, stopping in coffee-bars and shops, the buildings’ entries, the knots of people in front of the shop-windows, are wrapped up in the geometric articulation of brick arches and wooden ceilings, of walls marked from attractive shop-windows and the main carriage entrances.

The scene of the project is a valuable part of the town territory, in the historical centre, inclusive of Piazza Maggiore and the overlooking buildings, intersecting  Odasio Street.

The best and most suitable functional character was reached with an agreed and shared design of the relationship between public utilities and private citizens. Appropriate and efficient works aimed at the urban reclamation of the historical centre are carried out carefully.

In consideration of the delicate architectonic and environmental context, an architectural rather than urban project has been planned within a scale of verification of effects and of context compatibility.

Observance of the structural aspects and of the assonance with local morphological characteristics are primary targets of this project, assuming the physical extant totality as objective condition.

The balance between the principles of  planning and the practice of building, between theory and praxis, between formal intuition and executive solution and technological choice, in consideration of peculiar aspects of architecture and local manufacturing tradition, is the main effort in this project.   

The proposal focuses on the concerned buildings reclamation, with restructuring, static consolidation  and hygienic redevelopment works, providing high architectural standards.

The general reclamation of the town scene includes the whole  Maggiore Square, its facing arcades and part of the branching off streets.

The proposal provides for: restoration and reclamation of an important building piece in the historical centre, by the re-design of the front overlooking Maggiore Square and the building completion at the corner between the square and Odasio Street; the reclamation of Maggiore Square provides: review and reorganisation of areas at ground level; new pave for both the square and the arcades; new lighting system; new drain system; street furniture.

The reclamation of the square is strictly related to its pedestrianization. The Town Administration is aware that the process of cars ousting must be carried out following appropriate timetables and methods, with provision of car parks near the pedestrian precinct.

At present, the project area covers part of the streets surrounding the square, but the spirit of this project is an extension to Locatelli Street up to Porta Garibaldi and to Tadino Street, including Papa Giovanni XXIII Square.

With inspiration from relevant period pictures, the projects aims at the same serene and almost metaphysical image of tidiness and cleanness of public areas.

Details included in the project can be noticed in these urban scenes: the continuity of the pave from arcades to the square and surrounding streets, the lack of sidewalks; the absence of cars and of road signs and markings. All building fronts are neat and free from any on sight electric installation. Until the introduction of lanterns hanging by threads between buildings, there was no public lighting at all.

For these reasons, the reclamation of urban scene will be subject to a subtraction - rather than addition - process.

One material for the new pave of the square and one material for the new pave of arcades are proposed, in line with the detraction and simplification principle restoring a simple and elegant image of the urban environment.

The reclamation of the town scene is strongly determined also from the new public lighting system, not only for its intrinsic characteristics. The proposed type of lighting allows and provides for the removal of the existing streetlights and floodlights, with all cables at sight on the fronts of public and private buildings, contributing to cleanliness of façades and to the elevation of urban dignity.


Massimiliano Gamba


Martinengo Municipality

Dimensional data

Intervention area: 3,875 m2


Project: 2010

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