Pinocchio Park, Collodi (Pistoia)

The architect Marco Zanuso was commissioned by the Fondazione Nazionale Carlo Collodi to design The Land of Toys in an area of over a hectare bordering on the monumental “Pinocchio Park” at Collodi designed by the landscape architects Renato Baldi and Lionello de Luigi. The bronze sculptures illustrating Pinocchio’s adventures were created by Pietro Consagra.

Marco Zanuso asked Porcinai to assist in the design of the area and the selection of the trees and plants. Having accepted the commission, not only did Porcinai define the project for the fundamental operations of landscape design for the theme park, but during the numerous meetings and site surveys also provided suggestions and proposed solutions for the architectural and decorative elements. The careful selection of the vegetation was based not only on the suitability of the plants for the different environments, in terms of functional and economic feasibility and maintenance, but also on the symbolic relation with the various episodes in the life of the wooden puppet conceived by Carlo Collodi in the Land of Toys. Hence, dense shrubs of evergreens (holm oaks, Quercus ilex, laurel, Laurus nobilis, Japanese cheesewood, Pittosporum tobira) were chosen to underscore the static episodes, while deciduous plants and annuals located in the vicinity of the sculptures highlighted the movement of the adventures themselves. The flowers were selected seeking evocative chromatic effects to set off the characters in the story and the architectural elements. The design solutions are also attuned to the magnificent surrounding landscape, and in particular with the splendid eighteenth-century garden of Villa Garzoni and the ancient hamlet of Collodi. Moreover, certain details of the surrounding landscape are deliberately exploited to convey the intrinsic message of the individual episodes of the story. Among the trees and plants used in the project are: (trees) cypresses, holm oaks, olives, walnuts, and silk trees etc.; (shrubs): laurel, bamboo, box, cistus, cotoneaster, strawberry tree, juniper, broom, pomegranate, myrtle, pittosporum, germander etc.; (flowers and creepers): hollyhocks, foxgloves, blanket flowers, altea, gaillardia, helianthemum, iberis, potentilla, plumbago, honeysuckle, verbena, roses, rudbeckia, zinnia, etc.

(Ph.:© Paola Porcinai)

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