Centro Servizi Culturali Santa Chiara

2016 - 2018


Elisa Burnazzi


Centro Servizi Culturali Santa Chiara


Carlo Baroni and Andrea Zanchi

The installation and the signage of “Centro Servizi Culturali Santa Chiara”, property of Trento Municipality, have been commissioned by a tendering procedure. The project includes the exterior and interior parts of a medieval former convent, partially protected by “Sovrintendenza dei Beni architettonici” (cultural heritage committee). The “Centro Servizi”, thanks to the adjoining urban park, links different parts of the city and, together with the two theatres, attracts people of all ages and different cultures. Part of the complex, uninhabited for ages, is in a severe state of disrepair and except from a few graffiti of a modest artistic level, there are offensive and xenophobic writings on the walls, evidence not only of urban but also civil decay.
The new signage wants to replace the existing one, installed in the early 90ies, and complements it with several new functional elements for the visitors: wall claddings with shelves to display flyers in the porch and at the theatre's entrance, totems with information and direction signs and totems to display plays' billboards. The new elements have a brushed alluminium finish, which helps them to stand out from the warm terracotta colour of the background
With this artistic installation we wanted to focus on the great social responsibility played by the urban furniture work. Both designers and client believe in fact that the culture, represented by “Centro Servizi”, can fight the decay, adding a new aesthetic value to the place. This belief has inspired the concept idea of the re-design. The artistic installation and the signage re-use the old dibond billboards used for advertising the shows performed in these years. The panels are recovered, cut into stripes of 16 cm width and lastly put back together in an apparently random way. The re-use of dibond, reassembled to create new elements, tells us that society is enriched by diversity.
The recent past of this site is told through the hundreds of recovered billboards which are also seen as a way to advertise a current play, whose main characters are the inhabitants of the neighbourhood and the people using the “Centro”.
The installation speaks to the mind and the heart, it wants to touch people's feelings. While experiencing this space the panels' many colours are the first things human brain will notice. At night the led linear lighting underlines the structure of the porch's vaults. The re-use gives a second chance to the materials, and at the same time to the place and people. Graffiti writers' ethic teach us that if an artwork is already there it's not right to overwrite it. The installation's multicolour surfaces are not fitted for writings or vandalism, in this way they help to contrast urban decay. Re-use brings fantasy and creativity into play, it's educational and even therapeutic. In the future more installation will be built. Reusing the waste, namely billboards produced every day by the Centro, has been seen as a fun and useful way to recycle them. Over time, new elements will be added to the installation to achieve functional, aesthetic and emotional quality.