Right from the outset, respect for the natural setting and its genius loci, the terrain and harmony with the landscape have been the cardinal points of the planning of the Cittadella in relation to the role it with play. It is a concept strongly emphasised by Padre Pio himself and repeated by Irene Gaeta to the mayor of Drapia, during the inauguration of the first building with the installation of the statue of Our Lady of the Tears:
«Houses may not be built close to the Cittadella, but two kilometres away».
A specification that suggests the search for an active balance between the management of resources and their renewal, between the use of the area and respect for its natural and environmental context, between (organic) farming to produce food and medicinal herbs and the installation of all of the infrastructures necessary for care. One important fact: in an initial study, over 130 wild plant species were counted, largely of medicinal interest and whose preservation is tantamount.
A difficult challenge which, despite everyone’s good intentions, requires what are often complex planning and construction solutions given the size, characteristics and number of buildings: in fact, the up and running Cittadella will receive over 2,500 people each day between young patients, relatives, staff and visitors.
In addition to the architectural, planning and construction decisions which seek optimum scenic and environmental compatibility for the entire complex, the utmost attention is paid to fragmentation of the eco-system, to the use of environmental mitigating and connecting green areas – with the use of green roofs and walls, of wooded areas and hedges – to the study of road systems and indoor parking so as to be almost “invisible”.
This eco-compatible vision is undoubtedly unusual for projects of this size, but we are certain it will become an ethical and cultural benchmark to be followed in similar projects.