"Densely covered in celandines and thorn bushes / the rocks stand in front of me / like a strange people of athletes / petrified by the power of a spell. […]”
The poet Gabriele D’Annunzio starts off with these words the poem ‘Sa Spendula’, in 1882, dedicated to the local waterfall, defining with few telling lines the peculiarity of the landscape around Villacidro: the city is located on the mouth of a valley, between the mountains. The urban fabric of the city, in particular in its historic part, developed itself in direct relation with the landscape morphology, defining building clusters clung to the rocks, one on top of the other, terraced squares and gardens, narrow streets and steep stairs.
The design of the new Civic Centre in Villacidro is located in a site that is an important urban reference point for the city and its inhabitants, due to its history and its morphological and natural features. The architecture of the new Centre, essential pole for the city in the next future, re-interprets the main aspects of the urban and natural surroundings. The new building is located inside the historic garden of the Episcopal Palace, on the higher part of the area, minimizing the land use and maintaining the function of its cultivated terraces intact as much as possible. The complex, adapted to the morphology of the site, is opened to the city and becomes urban park, theatre, forum and arena, but also atelier, workshop, exhibition space: a building that is in direct relationship with the historic centre, with the cultural activities inside the Episcopal Palace and the renovated building of the old prisons, that accommodates workshops, learning spaces and exhibition areas.