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#OpenTaranto 3°prize

International competition in two phases for the restoration and the redevelopment of the old City

  • Client:
    Invitalia S.p.A.
  • Year:
  • Type:
    urban planning
  • Status:
  • Team:
    s.b.arch. bargone associati (project leader), FèRiMa, Neostudio Architetti Associati, Prof. arch. Camillo Nucci, B5 Srl, Sintagma Srl, 3ti Progetti Italia, arch. Ferdinando Mazza, arch. Giuseppe Francone, arch. Davide Scrofani
  • Consultants:
    Espace Libre, Eric Amelin, Lucie Melas, Antida Gazzola, Lucia Nucci, Nicola Santopuoli, Ilaria Pecoraro, Alfonso Raus, Camilla Sabbatini, Raffaele Scrivo, Maria Lorenza Dadduzio, Marisa Milella, Giuliano De Felice
  • Location:
    Taranto (Ta) - Italy

The general plan of action for the renovation of the old town of Taranto involves not only the island but also the two stretches of water that define it, the Mar Grande (Big Sea) and the Mar Piccolo (Little Sea), taking the shape of a beautiful butterfly whose body coincides with the old town, and the two seas are its large wings. The butterfly is a metaphor of the changes and of the following transformations that ideally will bring the old town to "fly " toward a model of development based on the enhancement of the cultural, creative and environmental heritage of the territory, release it from the industrial monoculture. 
The territorial strategy outlines a new organic system, consisting of water and earth, able to relate all of the region's potential remained untapped up to now with the ultimate aim of protecting and developing the different landscapes of Taranto, promote a sustainable and responsible tourism based on the eco-fish-, gastronomic traditional products, spread on the water with mainly public navigation systems, and developed on earth by mainly slow mobility systems with pedestrian and cycle paths, thanks to the reactivation of the old sheep tracks and the existing nature trails. On the island, the strategy proposes regenerative transformations able to reactivate the city and the citizens not only economically and environmentally but also culturally, through a synergy of tangible and intangible actions. Backbone of urban planning is the renewal of the longitudinal strip of via Duomo, to which overlaps a transverse system which guarantees its reconnection to the two seas, extending in the waters of the Little Sea with new strongly characterized piers. 
Via Duomo becomes the center of the strategic actions of cultural, intangible and also physical nature, through the redevelopment of the urban fabrics, arising from the recovery of the history and original handcrafted and manufacturing traditions of the Old Taranto, in order to stimulate a virtuous development action capable of promoting, on one hand the urban recovery and on the other,  bringing out the artistic culture, the creative abilities and self-employment of citizens of Taranto. Along this axis come to light the HUB LAB, the apartment complex for craftsmen and artists, the craftsman’s citadel, the CREA, Research Center University Civic Center, CEAMS, Arts and Crafts Center, Medical Center and First Aid, as well the CERT, the heart of the regeneration. In orthogonal direction to Via Duomo arises the transverse system, a connecting structure between the two seas, which connects and restitutes the ancient acropolis to the Sea. It consists of 8 lines of pedestrian crossing which organize the old town and structure the distribution system in north - south direction. On the the Little Sea side, the cross streets extend into the water turning into a series of piers according diverse functions, offering spectacular and suggestive perspective views both from the sea towards the land and vice versa.
Behind the nineteenth century cantilever roof arise: the Fishermen's pier, where you equip areas for the market and the street-food; the energy pier, a sign of light and scenic design; the amphitheater pier, characterized by the raised edge with large steps that circumscribes the sea surface, the floating forest, garden beach, the east landing pier , with ticket office and holding point for the marine waterway, the seaside pier, designed for sports and leisure.
In its last stage, the urban planning, implemented in stages according to a precise schedule of works, provides for the pedestrianisation of the island, preceded by intermediate measures of traffic calming (area 30 and ztl), thanks to which it can return to the city a new water-front of the Big Sea understood as a panoramic promenade with railings overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
From the railing through a descent–ascent system it is created a new connection to St Eligio Pier, redeveloped and enriched with commercial equipment, meeting and walking spaces which determine the reintegration of this area with the city. The new Lighthouse, elegant and tall prism reaching towards the sky, roof terrace, becomes new representative sign of the City and its rebirth. Where the sea is calm and the gulf is protected the city backs to life and to be reunited with its own essence: the Little Sea.
Here the entire water-front is constituted by an uninterrupted Linear Park which represents the re-naturalization of the urban space, causing an extended pedestrianization with panoramic view over the water. Sports facilities of all sorts, protected areas, circumscribed but also open and continuous, come in succession creating modern, different, multi-functional spaces where you can enjoy the most inviting fish-gastronomic traditions of the City. Rich series of new piers of water penetration, each one is designed in a suggestive and  scenographic way, and expresses a different level of experience and contact with water. 
The wide range of equipment and services for the City, ends on the east with a detailed set of sports facilities and new student residences; on the west, with a walkway deeply characterized by an extravagant pop plan with molecular structure, through which it is ensured the cycle-pedestrian connection with the land of the preexisting industrial city, its far end is entirely redeveloped from incisive interventions of transformation, which revovate it as deeply attractive contemporary fabric thanks to the Museum of Man and Work (Museo dell’Uomo e del Lavoro – MuL -), a beginning of a "new city" to be expanded to replace the iron and steel industry.

“Taranto is a perfect city: living here is like living in a shell, inside an open oyster. Here, the new Taranto , there, crowded, the old Taranto, around the two seas and the promenades. Along the promenades, into the water which is all one ring …” [P. Pasolini]