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Renzo Piano releases new design for Genoa bridge following disaster

Genoa-born architect Renzo Piano has released a new design for the Morandi Bridge in Genoa, following the tragic disaster that occurred on 14 August. The Morandi Bridge collapsed during heavy rainfall and resulted in the death of 43 people.
All images courtesy of RPBW
All images courtesy of RPBW

Following this tragic accident, Piano had said he would design a bridge for his home town, saying it is one of his duties to respond to such a disaster in some way.

Newly released renders show that the new bridge will be raised on slender piers and will be built with regular intervals.

Previously speaking of the redesign, Piano said, "one thing for sure is that it must be beautiful – not in the sense of cosmetics but in conveying a message of truth and pride".

'Great entrance to the city'

"It must be a place where people can recognise the tragedy in some way, while also providing a great entrance to the city. All this must be done without any sign of rhetoric – that would be the worst trap. But I think we will stay away [from that] and instead try to express real pride and values. That is what Genoa deserves," added Piano.

All images courtesy of RPBW
All images courtesy of RPBW

"Genoa is reluctant to spread emotion – it’s quite introspective and timid, but the strength is inside, like a retained energy. So it’s not a city that is screaming and shouting, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need help – and I will try to help."

The €202m ($229m) project is inspired by a naval ship and it will reflect a minimalist approach in its architectural language. Genoa's Mayor Marco Bucci said that construction of the bridge will be completed in 12 months and will be made accessible by the end of 2019.

Piano’s design consists of weight-bearing columns that address the bow of a ship, and will be illuminated by 43 lamps casting a light shaped like ships’ sails - which will represent each of the victims. Piano will also be working as the project’s technical supervisor, as reported by The Washington Post.

For the project, Piano will not get any money for the design of the bridge and he will donate the design to his hometown. In the construction process, the architect will work with construction firm Salini Impregilo, the infrastructure wing of shipbuilder Fincantieri, and the Italferr state railway subsidiary.

Renzo Piano releases new design for Genoa bridge following disaster

Italy's aging infrastructure

Following the incident, the collapse of the Morandi Bridge has sparked wide criticism on Italian aging infrastructure. Since 1970, the bridge has undergone many renovation works and according to a report published by the Italian highways operator Autostade per l’Italia in 2011, "an intense structural decay" was detected on the bridge.

The Ponte Morandi Bridge was originally designed by Italian engineer Riccardo Morandi in 1967, spanning 1,102m and supported by three reinforced concrete piers.

"Morandi was a great engineer for sure, and he made something audacious, clever and brave but, of course, very fragile," said Piano. "Fragile in the sense of a beauty that is fragile – it’s not a criticism. The bridge demanded an extremely high level of attention during its lifespan."

Article originally published on World Architecture Community.


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Since 2006, World Architecture Community provides a unique environment for architects, architecture students and academics around the globe to meet, share and compete.
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