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Campione D'Italia, Como

New Casino in Campione d'Italia

Mario Botta

Materials utilized

Pietra dorata toscana

The area for the new Municipal Casino and its corollary services is positioned next to the historical centre, at the foot of the hill where the town rises. In this geographical context the lot, which extends from the hill to the lakeside, shows an unusual territorial articulation with respect to the alignment of the lakeside infrastructures, oriented quite differently at this point.

The area is thus a place where diverse geographical and architectural fabrics coexist: on one side the old town, and on the other the development realised in this century. This peculiarity is at the basis of the project as it draws two footpaths from the hill to the lake, traced perpendicular to the contiguous urban plans. In this way, a rhomboidal lot is defined whose borders open toward the lake. These paths form a system of stairs useful to the whole community: sidewalks connecting the lakeside quarter to the hillside area. It is a system of paths which grazes the sides of the existing streets to form a great void in the middle.

The construction of the new Casino is concentrated toward the upper portion of the lot [...] which permits the formation of a large urban park in the lower part, beneath Piazza Milano. The park serves as counterpoint to the large built volume above it and represents an area of urban convergence of the zones on either side - the old centre to the south and the more recent quarter to the north. This arrangement makes it possible to transform a densely developed area at the lakeside into a completely free, verdant system of paths and promenades of about 6’000 square meters in size. The volume of the Casino is organised in terms of function, with one overlapped on top of the other.

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