International Design Competition in two phases for the requalification of the Genova bridge park (Val Polcevera)
Client Municipality of Genova
Place Genova | Italy
Team design Bodàr, Multari+Corvino, Michelangelo Pugliese
Awards 3° Prize
The treshold of memory and rebirth
The Polcevera valley is a very complex urban reality with rather delicate socio-economic and urban dynamics, both for the catastrophe that has affected the area and for the dichotomous juxtaposition of worlds, often not communicating with each other.
The project stems from the need to give back to the Polcevera community tha part of the city that the collapse of the Morandi Bridge has raped. The project moves in an emergency condition, trying to transform the drama of catastrophe into the urban and civic rebirth.
Questioning self on the issue of emergency means, first of all, catching on the knowledge of the places hit by the event, in order to re-build, as for a “restoration”, the calibrated innovation, which increases the reality of the exhistent and which is able to hook the future through a necessary “critical projection”.
The project takes as its main theme the relationship between city, nature and mobility systems, among which the new highway bridge emerges. This relationship is to be readen in their properties related to the scale, to the characteristics and to the topology of each of the mentioned systems. On one level, the interrupted nature, with the vegetation of opposite hillsides; on a second level, the city, with its articulations deriving from the functional program and from the construction age of the different parts (the platforms of production and service facilities, the compact residential districts, the urbanized slopes of the Campasso); finally, the level of the mobility system, recognizable as the shape of overlapped staggered crosses, on several horizontal planes: the Polcevera, now reduced to an artificial canal; the highway bridge that is rising where there was the Morandi bridge. The project is built by enhancing the differences and peculiarities of each of the systems that make up the local landscape. The heart of the park is a large void that, like a transept, crosses the valley, bringing the shadow of the highway bridge to the ground. This space builds a new system between the interrupted nature and mobility systems, defining the structure of the main ecological and public relations of the urban quadrant. The transept takes shape, as empty space, from a dense vegetation (the wood) and the modelling of the soil, with a changing vertical section, in order to accentuate the perception of the unitary and continuous landscape. This void opens up to all the immanence of life: on one side as the possibility of biodiversity in the urban area, the corridor connecting the ecological environments of the hilly slopes; on the other side as civil life of the communities that will live in this open space in a collective action of meaning, interpretation, design and use. The staggered cross, composed of the transept and the waterway, is the main element of innovation in the structure of the current urbanization. In fact, the project works on the smallest scale of the urbanized areas, through adaptation and reconnection interventions that confirm the consolidated settlement structure, acting primarily on the quality of the open external space – both public and private – and on the existing buildings. For the external opens space, are proposed interventions of reconfiguration of surfaces, trees, new lighting and street furniture. For the buildings, are proposed both light and heavy reconfiguration interventions are modulated, acting mainly with volumetric additions and subtractions of matter, the introduction of casings and skins, the decoration of some surfaces with street-art works. At the macro scale, tha scale of the mobility systems and of the linked eco-public corridors, the project space is defined mainly through the modelling of the soil, the planting, the search for open visual perspectives on the hills, on the historical remains and on the fragments of industrial archaeology. Proposed to connect all the longitudinal strands of the valley, a long cycle-pedestrian walkway will flank the transept on the north side, from the area of the Ansaldo headquarter to the slopes of the Nora park. Another important connection system is ensured by the Feltrinelli track which, running alongside the bundle of tracks, connects the area of the Brin station to Piazza Palmetta. The reuse of this structure aims to re-stitch the urban fragments of the area. At the meso scale of the neighborhoods, the structuring of a quality open public space, locally interconnected through passages and polarized in squares and playground, sets a new condition of reticular porosity. Within the drawing, an alternate system of plant gradients contributes to the definition of different scenarios, adaptable to the succeeding functions of the area. At the micro scale, the planned interventions on the building are punctually related to the actions on the open urban spaces: the regeneration operations aims to trigger relationships between the architectural dimension of the building and the public space. These relationships will be efforted primarily by the creation of greater permeability between private spaces, collective spaces and freely accessible public spaces.
The reconfiguration of public space plays a key role in the project proposal. The architecture of the public space is mainly assigned to the project of the large central void, made up of the transept, which structures the park’s program. Place full of meanings, visual and perceptual continuity, but also a symbol of rebirth. The Piazza della Memoria is grafted onto this void: a hill-garden conceived as a great land-art work, a natural arena that joins the parterre with the neighbourhood and with the boulevard in via Fillak. The square, a place where absence makes memory, transforms a symbolic theme into an active, positive and social space. The space of the square becomes the hinge between the residential district and the Campasso Park.