In Bellinzona, whose fortifications enjoy World Heritage status today, thanks to the genius of medieval military architects, modern and ancient buildings live side by side. Castelgrande is the starting point of a tour which illustrates a remarkable urban concept through the works of major architects of the 20th century in Ticino. Following the Murata you will see the imposing circular Business Centre designed by Mario Botta (1) and a little further on you come to Palazzo Franscini (2), the work of Luca Ortelli, home to five cultural institutions and unique in its kind in Switzerland.
Walking alongside the river Ticino in a northerly direction you come to the recreational area situated beside the river. The superb open-air Public Baths (3) was designed by the architects Aurelio Galfetti, Flora Ruchat-Roncati and Ivo Trümpy in 1970, and is immersed in greenery. In the following years a tennis club (4) (Aurelio Galfetti) and a sports centre with indoor pool and ice rink were built nearby. Crossing the bridge over Via Mirasole, you can see the former Grammar School in red brick designed by Alberto Camenzind. Proceeding in a northerly direction you come to “le case al Vallone” by Roberto Bianconi, the new Scuole Medie 2 (Secondary school) by Livio Vacchini, situated in a vast agricultural area which is destined to become the Bellinzona of the 21st century.
Walking back towards the town centre you soon come to the Church of the Sacred Heart (Sacro Cuore) (5) by Rino and Carlo Tami and the Post Office (6) building in Viale Stazione (Angelo Bianchi, Aurelio Galfetti and Renzo Molina), which leads back into the historic town centre. From Piazza del Sole (7), designed by Livio Vacchini, you can see Palazzo Fabrizia (Luigi Snozzi and Livio Vacchini) which houses the Biomedical Research Institute. On the other side of the ancient stretch of the town wall at the edge of the square, you will find Piazzetta Mario della Valle, where the modern lift shaft built into the rock seems to symbolize the towers of the castle and affords easy access to the Castelgrande complex.
The route then takes you southwards along Via Lugano where you can see an administrative and residential building designed by Mario Botta, for which he was awarded the Marble Architectural Award. The road then leads to Giubiasco through the residential areas of Ravecchia and Pedevilla, where there are some magnificent and historic villas, rustic cottages and new buildings of considerable architectural worth. The centre of Giubiasco has been radically redeveloped in recent years. Commissioned by the Municipality to redevelop Piazza Grande (8), Lorenzo Custer introduced avant-garde and quality solutions aimed at reducing the speed of through traffic and enhancing the whole area, which is now the site of a biennial open-air art exhibition.
Points of interest:
1 Business Center
2 Palazzo Franscini
3 Open-air Public Baths
4 Tennis club
5 Church of Sacred Heart
6 Post Office
7 Piazza del Sole
8 Piazza Grande, Giubiasco
Variante A: Piazza Nosetto - Cast. di Sasso Corbaro (1.5 km / 233 hm )
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Tour history (B01507)
First published: Donnerstag, 24. April 2008
Last updated: Montag, 18. Mai 2015
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