It all happened one night last October: after hours of heavy rains, the river Cervo swelled enormously and with unprecedented force swept away Hydro, the Terme Culturali, part of Accademia Unidee’s classrooms and other areas of Fondazione Pistoletto (for a total loss of 1300 sqm of exhibition, performance, rehearsal and storage space). Our Journal has kept our readers regularly updated on the progress of the works that Cittadellarte promptly started to reconstruct the collapsed parts of the building and secure the sections at risk. Our latest update was in February, when Fondazione Pistoletto’s staff had a consultation with the superintendence and the assessor for urban planning to show them a preview of the project proposal, so as to speed up the procedure to obtain authorisation to proceed. Important steps forward have been taken in March: the topographic survey of the areas both uphill and downhill from the destroyed parts of the building was extended and completed. Towards the end of the month this document and others were presented to the City of Biella in support of a building application. We are now waiting for a response from the landscape commission, Regione Piemonte and the superintendence, which are assessing the project.
The first step will be to select the company that will carry out the necessary interventions. “The firm that will conduct the operations will divide the works to build the containment wall into two parts,” explained Emanuele Bottigella from Cittadellarte’s Architecture Office, “so as to better manage the working site. The coming phase includes the palification, construction and filling of the grounds and should last for 100 days, unless adverse weather conditions cause setbacks. In the meantime, we are discussing with the engineer who performed the hydraulic survey whether to eliminate a portion of the rocks from the riverbed to facilitate the flowing of the water in the event of another flood. The next phase will include the reconstruction of the collapsed parts of the building with the objective of maintaining the original volumetry”.