The history of a locality: from natural state to post-industrial.

After millions of years of slow but radical geological transformation and after nearly a thousand years dictated by the gentle rhythm of rural life, the plain with its mills at the entrance to the Breggia Gorge was overwhelmed by the effects of the economic boom of the twentieth century’s golden years. A few decades of short-lived industrial history (the cement works operated between 1963 and 2003) were enough to transform this strip of land forever.

Using calcareous sediments deposited on the floor of the Tethys Ocean (the ancient ocean that separated the continent of Europe from that of north Africa and Asia) 200 million years ago, here was produced the cement that developed, transformed and ravaged the valley floor of Canton Ticino; the shells of the invertebrates that populated this Paleo-Tethys Ocean have become the bricks of modern buildings.

So why preserve the remains of a cement works that is so “disfiguring” in the midst of a green landscape along a stream in the middle of a park?
The plan to redevelop the cement works as opposed to its demolition was preferred in order to be able to tell the full story and to make an honest reflection on the footprints we leave behind us, both here and elsewhere.