Gandria, a neighbourhood of the municipality of Lugano, is an ancient settlement of fishermen and farmers on the shore of Lake Ceresio, at the foot of Monte Brè. It is such a characteristic and picturesque location that it deserved a place in the ISOS (Inventory of Protected Swiss Settlements) list. Today Gandria is an important tourist attraction thanks to its particular geographical situation and to the quality of its spaces.
Since ancient times, the landscape of Gandria is characterized by cultivated terraces supported by dry stone walls. Numerous sources testify that the cultivation of olives in Gandria was already well established in the 14th century. Gandria was connected to the international road (built in 1936) only in 1951. Currently, the village has a car park that was built in the seventies next to the cantonal road connecting Lugano and Porlezza, Italy.
Between the parking area and the lake there is a drop of 54 meters. The car park and the stairway that leads down to the lake give access to the olive path.
The “Jardin Vertical” project, which is located underneath the Gandria’s parking lot, is part of the requalification masterplan of the olive path developed in collaboration with the environmental consulting and engineering firm Oikos.
The masterplan involves the enhancement of the numerous olive trees and the arrangement of the pedestrian path that crosses the village, connecting several terraced areas cultivated with olive trees.
The abandoned space underneath the parking lot had no particular qualities and it was used as deposit for excavation material. The path that runs next to the pillars of the parking lot was badly defined and overall bad looking.
The project aim to requalify this space creating a vertical garden with different climbing plants. The plants will grow on a metallic structure made of steel beams and wires that is anchored to the parking pillars.
Along the path a small Caprino stone wall (Moltrasio limestone) has been constructed.
The greenery project foresees the development of the different plant species over the years and the changes of colours and density over the seasons.
At the end of the construction the vertical garden will be characterized just by the coconut wires.
The chosen plants are perennials. Each span is characterized by a different plants compositions.
Each composition is a mixture of evergreen and deciduous species in order to provide some green also in winter season.
Project: 2017 – 2020
Photographs: Marcelo Villada Ortiz
Client: Città di Lugano – DSU – Spazi Pubblici
Architect: Enrico Sassi
Work management: Enrico Sassi
Collaborators: Alessandro Armellini, Veronica Bano, Roberta Blasi, Irene Lucca
Civil Engineer: ingegneri pedrazzini guidotti sagl
Gardener: Fabio Forni sagl
Blacksmith: Bernasconi Renato SA