THE STONE HOUSES OF PINO PIZZIGONI: A RARE CASE OF VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE IN THE UPPER TOWN OF BERGAMO (ITALY)
Keywords: Vernacular Architecture, Conservation, Valorisation, Heritage at Risk, Social Housing
Abstract. Pino Pizzigoni was an architect from Bergamo whose work was characterized by a constant search for integration between tradition and innovation. The ‘stone houses’ built in the second post-war period in the Upper Town at the foot of the Medieval fortress and close to the Venetian Walls – a UNESCO World Heritage Site from 2017 – are an example of modern popular housing conceived to adapt to the needs of rural families who moved to the town. Designed under the Fanfani Law, they were envisaged to give new lifeblood to the ancient fabric, while respecting the landscape and the city’s skyline. Today, they can be considered one of the most significant post-war contributions to the cultural and architectural debate of the entire region. Their particular geographical position of the settlement has protected the complex because falling in an urban section marked by environmental constraints. However, to date, the asset has not yet been subjected to any protective restriction by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and so despite fifty years have passed since the architect’s death and over seventy years since the construction. The large underground car parking, today under construction on the border of the building complex, in addition to compromising its structural stability, would cause dramatic changes on the landscape, transforming a place that resembled a mountain village in an area congested by traffic and deafened by the noise of cars and tourists.