Little less than a month has passed since the night in which the fury of the river Cervo, swelled by the incessant rain, swept away Hydro, the Terme Culturali and part of Accademia Unidee’s classrooms. As mentioned in one of our previous articles, in the course of a single night Cittadellarte lost 1300 sqm of exhibition, performance, rehearsal and storage spaces. In parallel with the crowdfunding campaign Protect Cittadellarte on the Derev platform (click here to donate), Fondazione Pistoletto immediately started planning the urgently needed works to protect and strengthen its buildings. The operations will likely start on Monday. This first phase, which will last for about three weeks, will consist in the construction of a ramp of access in the riverbed, followed by the creation of a purpose-built platform to be able to operate on a flat surface. Cranes and specific machinery will remove the debris and complete the demolition of the now insecure parts of the building.
These operations will clear the area and most importantly provide easy access to the riverbed, to allow for the geological study, the topographic survey, the geo-technical inspection for new foundations and the hydraulic analysis of the flow of the water to take place. “At that point,” explained Emanuele Bottigella from Cittadellarte’s Architecture Office, “we will have all the technical data necessary to plan the new containment wall”. Not only that: “We have also started planning for the rebuilding of the architecture lost in the collapse,” he said, “we have met and made inspections with professionals in the sector: the topographer, the company hired to complete the demolition and remove the debris, structural experts, the hydraulic engineer. We’ll soon meet with a geologist as well”.
Representatives of various institutions have also been involved: the director of the private building sector of the City of Biella, an official from the MiBACT superintendence, an official for public works from Regione Piemonte and an engineer from Cordar Biella. “Involving these public bodies,” said Bottigella, “has meant starting a collaboration in the planning of all phases, like the securing of the building, and the construction of the new containment wall and the architecture”. A dialogue has also been opened with the local administration in the persons of Biella’s mayor and Biella’s assessor of urban planning. In addition, a few days ago Cittadellarte was visited by representatives from the civil protection department of the Ministry of the Presidency to ascertain the damages caused by the flood. “At operational level,” added Bottigella, “we have started monitoring the buildings still standing and emptied the ones adjacent to the collapsed ones. We have also managed to obtain authorization to proceed with the works with urgency in accordance with art. 27 of the legislation on cultural and landscape heritage, as well as a specific ordinance by the mayor allowing us to act promptly. This way,” he concluded, “we will be able to avoid waiting and intervene immediately”.