The Mulino del Ghitello and its park are the access point to the valley of the natural park of the Gole della Breggia, located in the lower part of the Valle di Muggio (Ticino, Switzerland), between the municipalities of Castel san Pietro, Balerna, Morbio Inferiore and Breggia. The park is built around the bed of the Breggia river that has carved out a deep furrow in the mineral layer over time. The natural landscape is of great importance above all from the geological and paleontological point of view since it is composed of rocks surfaced with a stratigraphy that covers a time span ranging from the Jurassic (205-142 million years) to the Cretaceous (142-93 million years ).
At first, restoration work was carried out on the wall of water wheels, the arrangement of the ground and the construction of parapets for securing. The parapets are built with flat and construction rods that have been left in their natural state and have rusted. An ancient wall that served as a bank was turned into a long table with a pergola.
The Parco del Ghitello welcomes a pedestrian path that, in its flat part, is accessible to the disabled. The project plans to strengthen the park’s vocation towards the disabled by also providing a setting that is adequate for the needs of the blind and partially sighted.
8 stations have been designed, built and installed to present the visitor with 8 types of rock that characterize the geological sequence of the park; the types of stone are arranged in chronological order, starting with the oldest: Limestone of Moltrasio, Ammonite Red, Rosso a Aptici, Majolica, Scaglia Bianca, Flysch, Conglomerate, Tufo Calcareo.
At the beginning of the path there are two three-dimensional models at different scales. A model of the Giardino del Ghitello in 1: 200 scale, a model of the entire park of the Gole della Breggia on a scale of 1: 2,000. The models are made of concrete, can be touched and contain information that illustrates the contents of the park. In the Ghitello garden model you can follow the pedestrian path and meet the 8 geological stations; in the Park of the Gole della Breggia park the main buildings and typography are highlighted.
The 8 geological stations are designed to present the different stones that can be seen or touched. While a person is touching the stone, he is unable to see it, thus assimilating the tactile experience of the “normal” person to that of the visually impaired.
The stones are presented to the public through a metal support composed of two T-profiles coupled to form a rod that supports a panel with explanations and a structure that protects and frames the exposed stone. On the horizontal plane of the cover, an inscription with letters cut from a stainless steel sheet and a Braille inscription is applied in relief. Both texts can be read by touch.
The metal structures are not treated, they naturally oxidize and this gives them a warm color.