IL REGNO (The Reign)

There was a visionary dream and a lot of knowledge and know-how in the project “Villaggio Operario Modena Ovest”.
Today, there is still sweat and sometimes even noise: no longer the whistle of the train, but the memory of school days with boisterous children and the marks of the once squealing wheels left on the circuit’s asphalt; there is a new roar of an engine that had broken down, and a screaming steel, or a a turning lathe giving shape.
There is now the sound of tongues of distant origins; songs, prayers and the chirp of cicadas.
There are opeining doors, and the one that closes. There is life, and a little nostalgia, in the small kingdom between the overpass and the railway.

 

The artisan village Modena Ovest is an emblematic place of the national work culture: the first artisan conglomerate of its kind, it was the result of a premonitory idea that started the development and wealth of the area in the Italian region of Emilia Romagna. With the passing of time and the transformations of the market, the village has evolved but has struggled over the years to keep pace. It has been transformed and has been able to welcome new ideas: today many of the sheds and lodgings host forms of aggregation not only linked to work but to different cultures and religions, while small and medium artisans fight for the survival of their inherited manual skills.

 

Commissioned by the Research and Documentation Office on Urban History of the Municipality of Modena 

An extract of the work is printed in the photographic portfolio attached to the volume “Cities and Industrial Architecture. Il Novecento a Modena“, Franco Cosimo Panini Edition.