In Sarnico, a charming village overlooking Lake Iseo and one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the Bergamo area, visitors will find the Paroletti Nature Park, a green area measuring 8,500 square metres (10,166 sq.ft.) where the biodiversity of the lake is at its best and local flora and fauna can thrive as a result of targeted environmental protection policies.
The new park falls in the scope of an important project for the regeneration of green areas owned by the municipality. It was the project originators’ intention to creatively turn the park into a true cultural venue, where functionality on the one hand and communal and social themes on the other would come together for a better use of the natural space in qualitative terms. The ultimate purpose of the project was to protect and promote an extensive splash of green amid the smog and concrete of the local urban environment for the benefit of citizens.
This was achieved through the creation of a nature trail across the park, a recreational area, and a stop-off area for visitors to enjoy the most scenic view of the lake and become acquainted with the botanical species of Lombardy’s lake areas as well as with the urban biodiversity. This means that, in addition to the need to enhance natural biodiversity, the project was intended to raise people’s awareness of the importance of biodiversity in urban areas, with interventions and initiatives designed to improve the greening of streetscapes, the repopulation of local bird species and the presence of natural elements in people’s lives. The park also includes a dog area measuring 400 sq. m. (478 sq. yd.) fitted with equipment for dog agility exercises and a decagonal biodiversity gazebo with a metal frame that houses educational and information boards.
Another facility of the park is a biodiversity tower, i.e. a small elevated house hosting a number of exhibits, including small construction implements made of stone and wood and microhabitats (nests and mangers for winter feeding). The natural but skilfully improved sloping ground where the park is located fits perfectly into the residential context. A little further on, in the lakefront part of the park, the view of prestigious villas of national historical and architectural interest is superb. One of these is Villa Faccanoni, a valuable historical residence in an excellent state of preservation and an outstanding example of Art Nouveau style from the beginning of the 20th century by architect Giuseppe Sommaruga. The park obviously reflects this style; the architectural elements, pavilions, entrances, walls and street furniture were thought of and designed in order to fit in perfectly with the villa.
The lighting design of the park was entrusted to the Brescian company Francesconi Architectural Light, which carefully enhanced the natural environment. Their choice fell on MOK bollard lamps, a lighting series that is characterised by essential geometries and a totally concealed fixing system. Light fittings are made in primary aluminium, an oxidation-resistant material, with extra-clear glass diffusers. Their refined design and sophisticated technical features make lamps of the MOK series blend in with modern architecture.
The high-performing and low-consuming LED light fittings are quality products belonging to the latest generation of lighting solutions on the market and were expressly chosen for their lighting characteristics. In particular, light distribution is compliant to the strictest light-pollution standards, which is a frequent problem in densely populated urban environments. Differently sized MOK units were used in the project, i.e. a 50-cm version installed along the smaller access paths, a 1-m version to light larger paths and, finally, a 3.30 m version for the broad meeting spaces of the park.
The lamp lenses dim the light projected over walkways of different widths, thus avoiding over-used ‘standard’ solutions and creating an original effect. The warm light of LEDs gives the Paroletti Park a low-profile but elegant homelike atmosphere, which is often lacking in urban projects at the expense of the power and efficiency required. The finish of each of these units coincides with that of the urban furnishing elements, thus ensuring perfect design integration between the project elements.
Project Manager: Gian Pietro Vitali
Client: Municipality of Sarnico (Bergamo province)
Lighting Representative Agency: Agenzia Caglio (Mantua province)