Varese News

“A Cultural Centre in Piazza Repubblica, within 5 years”

A meeting between Mayor Galimberti, Councillor Civati and the architect Galantino. Work on the former barracks will begin in autumn.

Piazza Repubblica 29 marzo

According to the council, the new Cultural Centre in Piazza Repubblica will be built within 5 years. Today, the Mayor, Davide Galimberti, met Mauro Tarantino, the architect who won the second group in the competition for ideas. The schedule was made official at the end of the meeting.

First of all, the money will be available thanks to the recent agreement between the Council and the Region, who have guaranteed about €15 million for the work on the barracks-Piazza, and another €19 million for construction of the new theatre. This money includes the sum budgeted for by Governor Marroni, and the sum that will come with the agreement for Lombardy, signed by Renzi and Maroni. The architect said that it will take six months to produce the final project and three and a half years to complete the work. If we allow for a physiological delay of six months, then the completion date is 15 December 2021.

What is going to be built?
The architect Galantino won the competition with a plan to turn the former barracks into a Cultural Centre, with the Varese Library, meeting rooms, concerts, the consultation of books, Wi-Fi and a coffee shop. The central courtyard of the former barracks will be covered with glass to form a sort of conservatory, and at the entrance to the Piazza, arches will be built to allow there to be a coffee shop. This intervention, the only one that modifies the body of the structure, has already been approved by the authorities.

In the large space of Piazza Repubblica, the plan is to create a garden, divided into three areas of green, a row of trees that cover the front of the shopping centre, and a kind of colonnade that separates the Piazza from Via Magenta. All of these projects are valid, but will be better defined over the next few months. Galantino explained that, in his plans, the barracks-library will remain linked to the Piazza by a pedestrian area. The paving will be renewed completely. The exit from the underground car park, which leads into Via Spinelli, will be closed. Cars will instead come out in Via Pavesi, on the opposite side of the barracks, and the road will be widened.

“The agreement reached with the Region during the last meeting of the supervisory board for the program allows us to proceed quickly,” Mayor Davide Galimberti explained. “In 6 months, we’ll have the final project.”

Andrea Civati, the Councillor for Town Planning, is resolute over the destination. “These have been months of waiting and of reflection, but this is still an essential project for the town. Speaking about a library is restrictive because it will be a cultural centre with many different functions, probably one of its kind in Italy.”

Mayor Galimberti has asked the architect to take inspiration from similar projects in other European towns, and the architect has promised to make a study tour over the next few days. Finally, it is possible that the Piazza will also be used for temporary market areas, but not as a permanent market area.

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