Memorial to Enrico Mattei, Bascapé (Pavia)

Porcinai was asked to design a commemorative monument for the site of the air crash in which the President of ENI, Enrico Mattei, died along with his pilot and an American journalist.

The design is simple and essential: a broad low square mound, bordered by huge stone boulders, the artificial canal that crosses it, and three oaks in memory of the deceased. In front of the trees, amidst the flowers, he set a stone with a cross. The car park is screened by a tall hedge of evergreens. It is a solution of utter and austere simplicity, such as to bring Bruno Zevi to write: The memorial is solemn precisely because it evades all rhetoric. It even resists the urge to arrange the landscape, to reshape the natural environment through human intervention. Porcinai, one of the rare Italian experts in the sphere of landscape, has simply enclosed a meadow, giving us an example of morality that ought to provide food for thought for clients and rascally architects alike.B. Zevi, “Memorial in Italia: un prato per Enrico Mattei”. L’Epresso. 29 March 1964.

(Ph. © Paola Porcinai)

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