Ivrea degli Olivetti has made history, so much so that it has become a Unesco site, not only and not so much for the parable of a brand that has experienced and triggered a real golden age, but also for a combination of company, population and territory as well virtuous to become a model. Urban planning and lifestyle need to be profoundly redesigned. In fact, between the 1930s and 1960s, Adriano Olivetti transformed the city of typewriters into a laboratory for entrepreneurial and social experimentation.
Among the emblems of that epic, the Bellavista district “is one of the most recent and least known and studied but no less significant phenomena” says Elena Dellapiana, president of Urban Lab, the Turin institution which, together with the Olivetti Historical Archive of Ivrea, has promoted the exhibition «Abitare a Bellavista», which opens today at 6 pm, in the spaces of the same Urban Lab, in Piazza Palazzo di Città 8 f. The survey is conducted through photographs, floor plans and video interviews with the inhabitants of that area built since 1957, on the urban plan by architects Luigi Piccinato and Vittoria Girardi, and designed to accommodate about 5,000 inhabitants on a total area of about 32 hectares. It is the extreme piece – perhaps less seductive on an aesthetic level than others, but structured on the same concepts, of an architecture that revolves around the factory, but also strongly centered on an avant-garde and counter-trend neo-humanism, with a keen eye on the welfare of workers, their cultural formation and welfare.
Photographer Paolo Mazza gives an account of about twenty shots of this complex surrounded by greenery and with a low density of inhabitants, circumscribed by a perimeter road from which access roads to social, school, commercial, sports and religious infrastructures branch off. Another fifteen, however, are dedicated to residents: some elderly, who have lived in those houses since their construction or shortly after, others arrived in more recent years. For each of them, there is also a video interview, made by Viviana Martorana: the most captivating ones tell of a past that never returns and of an almost romantic bond with the Olivetti matrix of the neighborhood. A paradigm that speaks of collective participation in the common good, of shared spaces and maintenance, of integration between living areas and others dedicated to sport, recreation, meeting. “Although located in an economic and social area far from the dynamics of large cities with strong urban growth in the boom years, Bellavista virtually dialogues with other similar settlements in terms of objectives and forms, such as Lucento and Vallette on the outskirts of Turin, in a comparison of values and disvalues »adds Dellapiana, who is also a professor at the Polytechnic.
In addition to photos and videos, large floor plans are part of the repertoire, arranged on tables and browsed by the public. –
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