Piazza Vecchia
7-24 September


7> 24   Settembre


All day long


Piazza Vecchia - Bergamo Alta

The installation projected by Dutch landscape designer Lodewijk Baljon will look at the theme of coolness both literally, as in the cool of the shade; and figuratively, as with style and attitude where ‘cool’ indicates ease and elegance. This latter is attributed to the aesthetic notion of ‘sprezzatura’ born in Italy in the Renaissance period.
Key elements included in Baljon’s project will lead the public through wonder and amazement to a reflection on the environment.

Together with Lodewijk Baljon for the design of Piazza Vecchia this year are
Maurizio Quargnale and Diego Ardizzone for the lighting design,
with Lucia Nusiner as coordinator.

Share on

The sky is the limit for this year’s Green Square – the Piazza will be given a roof.
A cloud of balloons upholding climbing plants create a green atmosphere: sheltered, welcoming, and protected, to beat the stress of urban heating. The climbers in question will be hop plants which, with their little ‘bells’, will add beauty to the setup.Hop can be considered a fashion element in that it is a basic ingredient for beer, including the new types produced by small local breweries. The impression at night will be that of a sky full of moons with sunset colors giving an added glow.
A large block of ice at the center of the Square will indicate the amount of ice that melts from a glacier in a single day, a week or fifteen days. Hence climate change becomes visible.
Under the sky of balloons there will be space to stroll, to relax on a beanbag, to meet up for a coffee or even for a group dinner at a long table.


The roof of balloons

63 balloons of 2.4m diameter roof the Piazza, giving the extraordinary sensation of being indoors while in an outdoor  urban setting.


Balloons under the portico of the Palazzo della Ragione

The roof of balloons continues across the Piazza all the way to the portico linking the two spaces.
The balloons in the portico, of 1.8m diameter, will be somewhat smaller than those in the Piazza. In this way they won’t interfere with the structure of the portico. The balloons are attached to simple circular bases. This will allow for plenty of room for tables. Moreover, the balloons with their supports can be placed on the tables or moved outside the portico when further space is required. The supporting framework is an adjustable structure and allows for much flexibility.

Surface for light shows

At night the balloons can be used as a surface for projections, as in 2016 on the facades of the surrounding buildings.
The surface of the balloons offer many possibilities to create a different atmosphere or to tell a  different story every night: global warming, fashion or just a fascinating colour-and-music show.

Many moons in Piazza Vecchia

The structure of the ice

Several blocks of ice stacked together form an enormous cube of 3x3x3m.
A metal frame indicates the original size. As the ice melts, the frame shows the meltage. The ice is expected to last for 3 weeks.The ice-block is placed on a raised platform to minimise the effects of heating from the floor. Drainage takes place by way of a synthetic carpet covering a large part of the Piazza.

Ice holds a strong sensorial attraction for humans. People seek physical contact with it – an embrace or simply to touch it. Extreme cold always produces contrasting, but stunning, emotions.

The vegetation

Hop plants and barley will be the green protagonists of this setup.
The hops, planted in large pots, will wind upwards to the big balloons, while down below barley will rule the scene, surrounded by ornamental perennials.



There will be three types of chairs in the Piazza, all white. They are from PEDRALI’s NOLITA line of chairs.
ARCA produces flower pots in a range of pleasing colours which will create a nice contrast with the synthetic turf that will cover part of the Piazza. Each pot will be surrounded by a ring of turf. The remainder of the floor space will be covered by slightly thinner synthetic turf.

Partners and suppliers for the setup






Suppliers for the setup