Transatlantic Flowerbed

  • 2004 – 2008
  • Performance and permanent installation
    in the courtyard of the council housing complex
    in Via Scarsellini, Mirafiori North district, Turin
  • Photo: Giulia Caira,
    Giorgina Bertolino, the artist

Set up in the via Scarsellini housing complex in Turin’s Mirafiori Nord neighborhood, Claudia Losi’s Transatlantic Flowerbed is an island of greenery. Born from the desire of a group of women residents, it is one of the results of the participatory design project of common spaces, as part of the Courtyard Project of the Urban Regeneration Program Urban 2. “When I saw the courtyard of via Scarsellini, the first image that came to my mind was that of a big ship.” That’s how Claudia Losi came up with the idea for Transatlantic Flowerbed. An idea that transforms a green area little used by neighborhood residents into a space where people can spend time, sit and meet.

Transatlantic Flowerbed, which covers an area of 600 square meters, consists of a garden of soft waves of grass, on which seven hemispheres of green concrete “float.” These house evergreen plants, set within silhouettes of plants and animals. The garden, enclosed by a low perimeter wall, includes a seating system, also made of green concrete, that embraces a living space within which is a large table covered with leaf prints.

The central path, which crosses the flowerbed and was traced over pre-existing paths, is decorated with majolica ceramic tiles, painted by master Franco Raimondi of Vietri to the artist’s design. The tiles depict glimpses of courtyards suggested by residents, as part of the Mirafuori Mirafiori action, proposed by the artist in the project’s inception phase and culminating in a district party in 2005. The work Affacci was also born in 2005, thanks to the relationships built with the residents of Mirafiori in Turin, whom Claudia Losi asked to indicate what view they did not like when looking out from their apartment; she then photographed each person’s view and collected their comments. From the pictures taken from the balconies and windows, she made sixty drawings on paper. All were arranged on the balconies, resulting in a large installation and performance that involved the entire courtyard.

Patrons: The Courtyard Project in the City of Turin “Urban 2” Community Initiative Programme, with a group of women living in the council housing complex of Via Scarsellini.
Mediator: Lisa Parola,  Luisa Perlo (a.titolo)
Supporters: Urban 2 (European Union, Italian Ministry for Infrastructure, Piedmont Regional)
Government: City of Turin, Fondazione Adriano Olivetti (Rome), Compagnia di San Paolo and Fondazione CRT (Turin)