Fontana via Leonardo
Goffredo Serrini / Claudio Zagaglia
Nestled between Togliatti Avenue and Leonardo da Vinci Street in the city of Empoli is an angular piece of terrain which is the site of the restoration. It is this area that the architects Serrini and Zagaglia intervene with a chromatic water installation that includes special lighting effects and three dimensional artifacts. This water creation takes advantage of the different levels of terrain that exist along the border of the structure and resolves the challenges related to the access of the property. The water creates a sense of movement by falling into the basin at the base of the steps. The entire project is created with light colored Istria stone which appears against the backdrop of the green rolling slopes that surround the area. The homogeneous light color of the stone is polished and permits the colors of the project to emerge without disturbing the surrounding environment and in this way is revealing and appealing to the eye. The gentle working of the stone slabs on the surface, add a delicate component which can be perceived by the eye and the touch, the different lights of day, and the presence of the reflection of the water. The restoration site is comprised of a rectangular space measuring approximately 27 meters long and 7 ½ meters wide. The base of the structure is constructed vertically due to the uneven levels of the terrain which is measures less than one meter. Furthermore, regarding the length, the property is divided into 4 sectors, one of which is dedicated to the fountain and three of which are dedicated to green space. The dividing structures have various functions: to contain the soil and also provide a solution to the diverging alignments and levels of the terrain. These also provide an indicator where one may access the area. Once again, these are covered in Istria stone and are created with the characteristic dimensions of 60 by 40. The stones are laid in a staggered fashion and are placed utilizing traditional techniques with mortar onto a base of reinforced concrete. The technique is reutilized with the stone slabs that cover the first six steps of the fountain. On alternating steps, a decorative geometric design is placed with splints that measure 20 by 100 and squared quoins which measure 58 by 50. The precise dimensions and placement of the project permits the stone to be cut precisely in order to enhance the lighted structures and to provide for the exact placement of the water spouts. Small additions to the pathway are completed in arenaria gray stone.