Laboratorio Aperto Piacenza is one of the ten laboratories located in the provincial capitals of the Region supported and financed by the urban development strategy of the Emilia-Romagna Region. It was born as a physical hub dedicated to innovation, an urban space usable by citizens and businesses that promotes and hosts training activities, city events and spaces equipped with cutting-edge technologies.
The recovery of the former Carmine church is part, at a local level, in the process of activating the smart city concept, promoting the creation of value at the citizen and community level through the meeting between supply and demand for innovative and technological solutions in a multiplicity of areas, from mobility to logistics, from the environment to agriculture, from culture to tourism. Laboratorio Aperto Piacenza is a suggestive and versatile location in the heart of the city, ideal for organizing events, meetings, business lunches and dinners and training courses at any time of the year with professionally equipped spaces: conference room, training rooms, meeting room, cafeteria and an open space dedicated to coworking with 24 workstations.
The recovery and redevelopment project of the former Chiesa del Carmine, launched in autumn 2017 and completed in spring 2019, includes two distinct areas of intervention: the recovery and structural consolidation of the building and functional reuse. The recovery of this precious city heritage also falls within the framework of the revitalization of an area of great strategic importance for the city. Indeed, the area between Piazza Cittadella and Piazza Casali, due to its historical, cultural and urban value, will play a central role in the development of the city of the future.
The church of Santa Maria del Carmine, founded in Piacenza in 1334 by the Carmelite Fathers, stands between today's via Borghetto and Piazza Casali. The original layout, which was born in simple forms reflecting the typical architecture of the mendicant orders, underwent numerous transformations over time. Between the 14th and 16th centuries, other chapels were added in the left aisle in addition to the medieval ones, while in the 17th century, the desire to adapt the church to the new Baroque taste led to the execution of numerous decorative interventions. In 1805, following the suppression of the orders, the church was first used as a hospital and then as a warehouse, while the nearby convent first became barracks and, from 1807, a public slaughterhouse. From 1923 the convent became the headquarters of the organization of the National Fascist Party and from the 1950s it housed state offices. In 2006 the entire complex was abandoned.