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Navetta Bridge

Project of a new bicycle and pedestrian bridge

  • Client:
    Municipality of Parma
  • Year:
  • Type:
  • Status:
  • Team:
    archt. F. Russo (team leader), archt. R. Russo, archt. A. Trisolini
  • Consultants:
    eng. M. Cappiello, eng R. Mastromattei, eng. G. Angarano
  • Location:
    Parma - Italy

The Ponte Navetta connected the two banks and the two parts of the city outside the walls, that in the south dissolve in the countryside and our eyes are turned to the free hills and mountains. The Navetta does not simply connected two banks, but it gave a name, an identity and character to a place; that particular stretch of the torrent, made it unmistakable for those passing through it, by walking or cycling, could appreciate the proximity and distances, depending on the hours and seasons. Ultimate aim is the restoration of the physical connection between the two banks of Baganza torrent not only to give continuity to a significant and strategic route in terms of bicycle and pedestrian mobility , but also to recognize the characteristic of active presence in the life of the district that the bridge has always had, reassembling the drastic fracture operated by extreme weather events. At this strategic aim we tried to give a first answer like architectural engineering profile, but also to redefine the "river front" in direct contact with the neighbouring urban areas, designed to achieve not only the new physical connection between the two districts, but also a reconfiguration of public spaces adjacent the two bridgeheads. So it was decided to design a bicycle and pedestrian bridge from simple skyline, without superstructures, which reconfirms the linearity of the pre-existing bridge, without altering the  landscape view, by now well established, of the urban context. The height difference between the new floor system of the bridge and the existing road level, the need to secure the banks allow you to rethink the "ground connections" of the bridge as welcoming public spaces capable of unifying infrastructure and landscape. The new single-span bridge is transferred from the axis of this, however, conforming to the inclination of the neighboring urban bridges. This presents a simple and linear form, composed of a rectilinear main body and four arms slightly inclined to form a double Y. The Ponte Navetta, surrounded by an extraordinary river landscape context, is imagined not only as a "fast" connector but also as a "pause", a break, to give its users the opportunity to stop on it and, in complete safety, observe the torrent and its slow course. “Pauses” are identified by three sessions that break the linearity of the bridge, staggering both in plan and elevation, and emerging as free-standing volumes but light. To create interruptions along the skyline of the new bridge also they involved the "openings", real windows that look out towards the stream Baganza. The continuous surface of the bridge, characterized by dynamic and impetuous sequence (like the rhythm of the torrent in flood) of solid and micropore aluminum panels, is interrupted by several characteristics, which are considered "pauses" in a story: comfortable wooden sittings related to specific openings framed by steel straps to ensure a direct view to the torrent to those who are comfortably seated. (translated by Irene Bonifacino)