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Grand Canal of Trieste

Redevelopment of the area between the Grand Canal and Sant’Antonio Square

  • Client:
    City hall of Trieste
  • Year:
  • Type:
  • Status:
  • Team:
    archt. F. Russo (team leader), archt. R. Russo, archt. A. Trisolini
  • Consultants:
    Doct. P. Del Negro, Doct. S. Ciriaco
  • Surface:
    1200 square meters
  • Location:
    Trieste - Italy

The project develops the idea of visual and perspective re-stitching of the Grand Canal toward the sea, discovering this ancient relationship between the city and the body of water that has been extremely compromised over the years. For this purpose, therefore the project proposal sets S. Antonio Square on a large-scale urban renewal plan, assigning the same one to a new "urban polarity" role and also cornerstone of a complex and linear system, able to communicate with the surrounding landscape and relate to various levels with the existing urban fabric.
The water element becomes the common thread that connects not only the various areas of action, but itself becomes part of the plan of action: activities such as recreational diving for teaching or practice exercises of "search and recovery" are in harmony with the new life of the Canal. Therefore it proposes to release the Canal from any interruption element and/or accessory, with the exception of the Red Bridge whose historical, cultural and physical nature can only be preserved and enhanced.
The planning choices that define the urban project can be summarized in a few but clear interventions: the reopening of the basement section of the Grand Canal eliminating the existing link via Filzi / via Spyridon, the removal of Curto Bridge and the creation of a "reverse bridge" in the stretch of intersection between the Canal and Riva 3 November. The project proposal, given the importance of interventions, is divided into three basic stages which establish a precise time-line in which they articulate all proposed interventions.
The design - project of the public space: from  the "no-square" to the New Square, from the embankment to the river-front. Inside the linear system of the Canal, are recognized two "heads", or rather the square outside the Church of S. Antonio and the existing slipway at the entrance of the Canal. The constant unifying relationship of the water is accentuated through the placement of terraced steps  made of stone along the two banks that serve as public seating. The space in front of it is thought not only as a rest and sociability area but also as one of the temporary stretch of water in which the sacred building seems to look at itself. Opposite the new square, at the mounth of the Canal, there is the existing slipway that is converted into a new Water Square which acts as a connection between the river-front and the old south quay; it is thought as a special Canal observation point that opens to the sea. To renforce the urban polarity of the entrance of the Canal it is proposed to place the Torpedo boat at the end of Via Rossini and to transform it into a modern, interactive museum. The reverse bridge: the overturning of perception. The waterfront: the promenade along the old quay. The definition of "reverse bridge" means an underground urban tunnel where sea water flows on the road, sanctioning the natural predominance of the artificial one. This operation wants to implement a re-stitching process the horizons ratfying de facto a more cogent and clear visual relationship between the Grand Canal and the open sea.