Summer is coming and the concern for weeks has been whether and how we will be allowed to go to the beach. Due to the restrictions for Coronavirus, nothing is like it used to be. Even less can we lie down on a more or less crowded beach to sunbathe and enjoy a well-deserved rest.

Alternative routes are currently being studied. To the improbable Plexiglas cabins to be installed in series in the factories. First advanced and immediately contested solution – with good reason, we would say.

Cristina Fera is 29 years old, is a Sicilian architect who has refined her skills and her taste in Milan – a very lively crossroads of international design – where she has been engaged for some years and with good success in the fashion field. Cristina wanted to advance her proposal: an original project, carefully functional, and which does not sacrifice good taste for effectiveness.

girandole progettata da Cristina Fera
Cristina's Pinwheel
Cristina’s Pinwheel (origin of the concept)

It is called Girandola – pinwheel: a sort of expandable rotating bungalow (up to four and a half meters). A solution that easily adapts to the decor and landscape of our beaches. Thanks to the movable partition walls, it allows a certain proximity between the cabins, avoiding waste of space and being able to welcome – always in safety – a substantial number of holidaymakers.

Cristina got the idea from browsing the images of the unhappy Plexiglas cubicles online. During the planning phase, her main goal was to create something that would really allow Italians to experience the summer (it will be difficult to host foreigners in this very complicated season – ed.). Cristina knows well that Plexiglas does not adapt to our beaches, it is neither aesthetic nor functional: hit by the sun’s rays it overheats everything it contains cooking it in a kind of slow tropical agony. That’s why she got to work.

girandole - progetto da Cristina Fera - Pinwheel: Cristina Fera's project
Pinwheel by Cristina (render)

There’s a bit of Sicily in her creative process, as she explains to us:

In these days with my friends I was imagining what our summer will be like. I addressed a thought to people who have shores and also to those who going to the beach will not feel safe fearing the infection. We also commented on the Plexiglas structures that raised a lot of criticism. So, one evening after work I started to imagine what a creative and at the same time beautiful solution could be. I was inspired by the conformation of the territory of my region, Sicily. I immediately thought of designing structures capable of making us live the summer without giving up the sea, comfortable for those beaches that organize concerts and DJ sets at eventing. Pinwheels are born to offer functionality. And they allow us to sunbathe avoiding gatherings.

The Pinwheel project is in progress. Cristina has been studying the measures that will make it as effective as possible these days. The choice of materials, above all:

Working in fashion is helping me. I have been working for preparation of events on which we focus on the types of fabrics to be used. In choosing the fabrics for the pinwheels I focused on the consistency. Lightness is important to make the most of the potential of the marine environment.

The material being studied will therefore be extremely light. It will look like linen, both visually and to the touch. As in a pinwheel, its lightness will accommodate the wind flows and the different orientation of the panels will allow us to choose the ventilation we like. Pinwheels will be washable and can be easily sanitized. During the day they will allow excellent exposure to sunlight and we can sunbathe without suffering the heat because the texture of the structure and the fabrics that compose it are assembled to avoid air stagnation. Cabins can then also be used in the evening, because each has its own integrated lighting system

girandole - ideate da Cristina Fera pinwheel - designed by Cristina Fera
Pinwheel by Cristina (render=

Some people don’t accept change. I read negative comments. But there are also people who started to imagine with me and who contacted me – Cristina tells us, confessing that in any case the greatest difficulties, in this particular period, concern the chain and production costs: They tend to not be very high, but there it could be difficulties for businesses in serious trouble due to the health emergency.

It is not yet clear, to date, what summer will await us, new decrees will certainly arrive. And Cristina hopes that after all there is no need for these precautions either. But she greets us with a thought of energy and sharing:

The pinwheels made me want to draw new projects. After this emergency, there will be much to redesign and we need to get creative, make the most of the quarantine time.

Pinwheel. Cristina’s idea to get us back to the beach ultima modifica: 2020-05-18T15:41:52+02:00 da Mariangela Cutrone