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Genova – Embankment Revitalization Competition
Genova, Italy
Program: Landscape, Masterplans, Hotel, Mixed, Housing, Sport, Civic Project
Status: Ongoing
Scale: 100 000-200 000 sqm

Genova – Embankment Revitalization Competition

The main aim of the Bluprint is to connect the city with the sea by creating an urban waterfront and also combining it with the ships repair sector which have been and still is contributing to the city’s heartbeat.

We find the idea of creating the new water channel thrilling. We can easily imagine it filled with yachts and boats of Genoese sailing club.

First Approach -
Transit zone with green stop and berth island

Green stop
Transit promenade
Berth island

office / hotel
housing + market
housing + services

We are clearly dealing with an urban void, a post-industrial territory which needs to be reclaimed by the city. It’s always an opportunity to give the city what it lacks. We didn’t want to consider the plot in terms of the competition program only, but also how the development can contribute to the city in whole.

Genova’s city center is squeezed between the water and the hills, that is why it is densely urbanized and the open green areas are deficit. In this city, greenery seems to be a luxury.

The green hills, which surround the center are occupied by villas and privatized. We wanted to supply the city with a democratic green piece of land that can be close to the densely populated city center.

The City of Genova -
With its long harbor history

2 parts of the city

Corso Italia
Porto Siberia
Fair Plot

The former Genoa International Fair Plot is located in the middle of two city’s parts. The area of Porto Siberia with the adjacent old town has a city center feeling; with liner ships arriving and departing and tourists infrastructure developed, the place is filled with urban life.

On the other side there is Corso Italia with Spiaggia do Boccadase at its end. The Albaro district with its distinctive houses and relaxing atmosphere create a pleasant background for the promenade which is cherished by locals mostly.

City beaches and sport clubs interlace with restaurants and cafes. This is a nice summer destination for all city dwellers.
The creation of the sailing channel will connect those both parts into one system. The Genoa International Fair Plot will become a link, a piece of the bigger system but also a destination on its own.

Key Idea -
The Green Point

Genova Fair Plot
Calm Meadow

busy ground level
calm roof

This analysis led us to the conclusion that the spacious roof of Pavilion S, meant for reconstruction and reuse is the best option available to place the greenery. We suggested an open meadow, elevated above the lively neighborhoods, one that would provide a 360 degrees view looking out over the sea and the city.

We named it a STOP. A place, a destination on its own, or just a place on the way.

Landscaping -
The Promenade


people and stone flows
frozen waves
leaching of rocks

Having linked these two parts of the city, we put in a promenade with a capacity that, in the future, can be expanded to accommodate Sunday strollers.

We shaped it after the way flowing water forms a rock. The flows of people are directed and lead smoothly. We created pockets and widenings in the places that needed them with cafes and shops are located along it.

The housing is located partly above the promenade. In a case such as this, the private part is detached from the public part, but also the protruding volume of the building guarantees that shadows will play over the promenade on the summer days.

We decided that natural stone would be the perfect material to underline the bends and folds of the wavy landscape. The association with renaissance Italian sculpture is obvious.

Blocking and Locating Functions

40 000 sq

Zone A
Zone B

All the functions were placed within the prescribed limitations. The location of the functional blocks was dictated by the insolation needed for the housing. Generally we first placed the 40 000 sq m of housing and then the hotel and offices in places where the views are not as pretty and shade prevails.

The hotel and offices are combined in one volume and can be treated as a prolongation of the B pavilion (the Blue Pavilion). Even their façade is a kind of representation of the pavilion to the new public space. The ground floor was omitted to disclose a partial view toward the glazed stripe of the Blue Pavilion, connecting it with the new urban surrounding.

We decided to provide a new pedestrian link which connects the public functions of the island with Via Aurelia, and even with the presence of the lift further on with Corso Aurelio Saffi.

Ground Floors -
Program Strategy

Level +1.00

Public Areas

Level +1.00 is a public level. The promenade houses mostly shops, with a smattering of cafes, all of them are accessible and open onto the promenade.

Pavilion S has been completed with commercial functions both on level +1.00 opening onto the water and on level +5.00 facing the Kennedy square.

Level +1.00 accommodates artisanal workshops and shops with nautical goods. Level +5.00 includes entrances to the restaurant and fitness center, as well as a café and small boutiques, which open onto the square.

Berth Island mixes housing with hospitality and offices, with the +1.00 level set aside strictly for public functions. A hotel foyer with a bar and restaurant are accessible from here. A covered square with its offices and entrance lobby is used for chilling out in the shade and various open air exhibitions and events.

To enhance the functional program of Berth Island we placed a fresh product market with a seafood section kept according to Mediterranean traditions.

As far as the promenade is considered to be a transit space with people passing through most of the functions that enhance staying and enjoying the outdoors are located on Berth Island.

Plans -
Housing matrix

up to 3 bedrooms and 120sqm
studios of 25-30sqm

mix of apartments
for seniors
young families
students or young professionals
5 stories urban town houses

We decided that the housing mix should be highly diversified and be accesible to different income groups. Many waterfront locations tend to be expensive and in many cases become investment assets rather than places to live.

In order to keep the place affordable for seniors, young families, students or young professionals we provided a gentrified mix of apartments.

The first block has studios of 25-30 sq m which we have called “micro-studios.” These are blocked together and have expanded common functions such as: a living room with a kitchen annex, a TV room, a sports room as well as a storage and washing room. These are located on the ground floor and meant for all the inhabitants. These shared spaces compensate for small size of the studios. The cost is shared as well, so the studios are cheaper. Also, they enhance the community.

Pavilion S -
Reuse strategy Sport + New Functions+ All Day Roof Activities

3 scenarios of TRIBUNE


As specified in the brief we implemented set of additional commercial functions into Pavilion S to lower its dependability from the massive sport events. The suggested functions take advantage of the pavilion interesting internal structure and complement its sport program.

Two levels have been dedicated to fitness center. Its premises are located in the south quarter of the plan along the glazed façade which faces the sea. Separate entrance is designed both from the ground level ( +5.00) and from the underground parking.

Directly above the main entrance to the sport arena we placed a restaurant. The restaurant is accessible from the arena foyer and provides the insights to the sport arena.
At the +1.00 level of the Pavilion, along the berths xxx sqm of leasing areas with 7m ceilings were provided to accommodate artisanal workshops and shop facilities connected directly with the nautical theme.

Additional mezzanine have been implemented into the Pavilion structure on the level+5.00 to accommodate the proper entrance foyer to the sport arena as well as complimentary entrances ( for sportsmen, employees, spectators; separate entrance to the fitness center) and additional xxsqm of leasing areas meant for coffee and arena gift shop. Implementation of additional commercial functions here helped us to revive the façade facing the Kennedy Square.

The internal structure of the Sport Arena has been left without significant changes.
The planning focused on providing functional blocks of rooms to facilitate building’s functioning as a contemporary sport venue.

Internal evacuation\service staircases have been added as a replacement for the removed external ones. Blocks of lifts connected different levels of arena enabling access for handicapped as well. Cloakrooms and restrooms for visitors were added as well as concession bars on levels +3.00 and + 8.00.
Possibility of expanding the seating capacities by 75% have been given by providing the portable movable tribunes.

The roof of the pavilion S and pillars that support it are structurally reinforced to make the roof usable. We designed an access to the roof by a spiral ramp along the façade. It serves as the prolongation of the promenade and is accessible for pedestrians.
The roof serves as a meadow. People can gather there, play outdoor sports, organize picnics or just enjoy the view.

Facades –
Materiality and Ceiling Mosaic Panels


Natural, long-lasting materials with good resistance to the aggressive sea environment (salt, humidity, wind) were used for the façade treatment. The large scale of this development required that we use diversified materials to keep the human scale of the place. Sand color brick, natural stone, mineral plaster cast, metal panels and wooden details were used as finishing materials. Keeping the natural tonality of the surfaces we managed to create a non-obtrusive image.

The materiality of the project was inspired by the industrial and coastal character of the place. We used simple, almost raw details which correlate with the nearby port.
Also, the general aesthetic of yachts and boats influenced the tonality and textures of the materials used.