Sinnai’s Dome and Municipality Square

A contemporary character dialogues with the past.

PLACE    Cagliari, Italy

DATE    1999

CLIENT   Municipality of Sinnai

AREA    3.200 sqm

DESIGN    Delogu Lixi Architetti Associati


LIGHTING DESIGNER    Marco Marini Building

DEVELOPER    Impresa Luigi Deiana

The area of the project, a total surface of 3200 squared meters, is the public space generated by two existing squares and by a stretch of via Roma. The idea of this project is to preserve this particular landscape working with minimal elements that reinforce an already existing sign, realign traces and introduce only a few elements which, together with others, generate a harmonious complex integrated in the urban fabric. The social and physical context, local architecture and traditions are the starting point to transform a consolidated urban structure in a compatible contemporary language.

This project is the result of the collaboration with an amazing Sardinian artist, appreciated all over the world: Maria Lai. 

During the design process, we had the opportunity to experience with this artist a common sensibility on the theme of urban weaving. It is not only the outcome of intertwined signs which create new public spaces but also a constant play of solid-voids relationship: this is the Italian city.

A large continuous limestone plane extends between the buildings and visually relates them in one big piazza. The peculiarity of this stone called biancone di Orozei is to reflect the natural and artificial light in different ways depending on its polishing.  The light is thus certainly one of the principal elements of the project. The large cut generated by the alignment between the buildings gathers the rainwater while the triangular shaped parvis integrates the stairs that lead to the upper part of the square. Sunken in the square archeological findings reappear, as a sort of memory of the past. The tower building that stands next to the parvis, with its regular facade and its contradictory appearance, becomes the pretext to design a symbolic construction that coordinates the whole project. The line of holm-oaks diverges from the facade of the old townhall according to a new perception of the building. African palms trees protect two more intimate parts of the square. The long stone seats are integrated with the facades on all sides of the square.

    “Non importa se non capisci, segui il ritmo”

Maria Lai 


“La Piazza della Chiesa”, Abitare 400, November 2000, pp. 176-179.

“Piazze chiese e municipio”, Lo spazio pubblico in Italia e Spagna 1990-2000, Italy 2001, Alinea Editrice, pp. 142-145.

M. Barda, “Dois Momentos”, AU Arquitetura & Urbanismo, Brasil n.94, February/March 2001, pp. 36-37.

“Piazza del Duomo e Municipio”, Urban Spaces, Spain 2002, Links International, pp. 214-215.

A prestigious collaboration
Maria Lai

Maria Lai (Ulassai, 1919 – Cardedu, 2013) was one of the most particular character of Italian art from World War II to our time. The poetic suggestions and the extreme contemporaneity involving her multidisciplinary works (sculpture, painting, looms, just to name a few) and still make her a protagonist of cultural debate. In the recent years, renowned institutions and museums, like Biennale di Venezie and MAXXI, organized numerous exhibitions about her figure.
Photo credits: 
Daniela Zedda


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