Photo A Concrete Presence
Photo A Concrete Presence
Photo A Concrete Presence
Photo A Concrete Presence
Photo A Concrete Presence
Photo A Concrete Presence
Photo A Concrete Presence
Photo A Concrete Presence
Photo A Concrete Presence
Photo A Concrete Presence
Photo A Concrete Presence
Photo A Concrete Presence

a concrete presence
2011

In Castel San Giovanni there is a presence. It's a building, or rather a volume of concrete that stands amidst the boring skyline of buildings in a little countryside town.
As if it were a monument, this object is the first thing that appears in view coming into town from the road to and from Milan.
The height and the size of this building are reminiscent of the fly-towers of the great Italian opera theatres that rise up as windowless squared volumes above the roofs of historical cities.
Perhaps, in this small town, no other building is so imprinted in the collective memory regardless of the function for which it was built. It doesn't matter what's inside, or those who have worked there. What remains is the image; the color of the concrete, the stocky shape, the almost blind volume and the shade that drops to the ground.
People often walk past this building: to go dancing, to catch the train, to meet someone in the Vacca al Treno bar. Everyone can see it as a background, but no one watches it carefully.
Paul Valéry in his "Eupalinos" wrote about buildings that speak, and others who can sing, such is their beauty.
By contrast, this building is considered ugly, gray, impacting the landscape as a monster! But which landscape? We are in a completely man-made context, as in many urban landscapes of the province. Precisely for this reason it seems so silent, even almost mute.
The bottom line is that this building is a gentle giant. It did its job, and it has always done it well. It was a cereals dryer.
This presence is just passing through: it will suddenly disappear, demolished and replaced by something else; a lower construction, maybe an apartment building such as those ordinary and banal ones that everyone likes but no one will ever notice.
These urban mutations happen continuously and abandonment is a transitional phase, not a destiny.