The Liberty Network in Varese Province: Strategies for Its Knowledge and Enhancement

  • Claudia Caramel
  • Anna AnzaniEmail author
Part of the Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering book series (LNCE, volume 26)


Between the end of 19th and the beginning of 20th century, the research of a national style produced various architectural experiments in Europe including the development of Liberty. In the Province of Varese as well as in the adjacent Canton Ticino, the diffusion of Art Nouveau was fostered by the creation of new rail links that became a source of tourism development. The great potential of Liberty valuable built system, connoted by a stratification of both human and natural elements that blended into a whole, is currently extremely vulnerable, its assets being often classified as minor examples and not subjected to law protection restrictions. Sustainable strategies for its knowledge and enhancement worth be promoted, adopting a holistic approach that includes both the preservation of the built heritage and the improvement of life quality, in a continuous dialectic between memory and design, tradition and innovation. Awareness should be raised about the importance of beauty as a fundamental right of human beings, considering the aesthetic experience as a normal attribute of our daily life and understanding that space livability is based not only on rational and functional aspects, but also on values and a sense of belonging with places. The purpose of this paper is to suggest possible perspectives to improve the people daily experience by enhancing the identity characters of a specific urban environment, inevitably including the preservation of the ecological conditions. Solutions based on a “space outfitting” approach could be proposed, which can be a response to current social changes, but also a transdisciplinary perspective to address the relationship between present and memory, relying upon reuse instead of new construction, low environmental impact, no waste, energy sustainability, social network and shared economy, participatory design, attention to the details, comfort and wellness.


Liberty Cultural heritage Beauty Ecology Identity 



The project, in collaboration with several institutions including Politecnico di Milano, Ente Parco Naturale Regionale Campo dei Fiori, Ordine degli Architetti, Pianificatori, Paesaggisti e Conservatori della Provincia di Varese and several municipalities, started in 2011. The team was composed by A. Baila, A. Anzani, E. Guglielmi, C. Caramel, M. Guarisco, and D. Niglia. E. Lonardo is gratefully acknowledged for his collaboration to create the pictures based on D. Niglia’s photographs.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of DesignPolitecnico di MilanoMilanItaly

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