Monte casino’s Roman inspired design aesthetic, includes a number of indoor and outdoor Piazza’s. A central aspect of the traditional Italian lifestyle is the afternoon and early evening ritual known as la passeggiata, or the evening stroll. Between 5 and 8 PM every evening, the streets fill with people socializing while they stroll. From the verb ‘passeggiare’ - ‘to walk’, la passeggiata commonly culminates at the piazza, and is the main social event of each day.
As a place that fosters community, the important role that the piazza plays is highlighted by a centrepiece, often an ornately carved fountain or obelisk, which serves as the main gathering spot. An integral part of everyday life in Italy, la passeggiata occurs in every city, town and village, and the piazza’s centrepiece has, by extension, become a symbol of community and social cohesion.
Pivot I does not mimic the usual baroque style typical of the piazza obelisk, instead it is a modern interpretation, stripping away the ornate detail and expressing its most essential structure. Constructed from laser cut, tapering steel profiles, radiating from an almost translucent central column of unconnected disks, the sculpture talks directly to its pivotal social role.
The central piazza’s in baroque cathedrals, were designed to draw the visitor in toward the centre by extending four visual axes outward, in a spatially dynamic and highly symbolic design, that represented the arms of the Catholic Church reaching out to welcome its devotees. The Monte Casino architects have similarly drawn axial lines in the paving details, which light up at night, drawing one in toward the steel obelisk. Blue and red lights illuminate the sculpture, seemingly from within, highlighting the contrast between the minimalist modernity of Pivot I and the Romanesque romanticism of the architecture.