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Genoa opens £170m waterfront regeneration contest

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The City of Genoa has announced an international competition to overhaul its disused Trade Fair site overlooking the Mediterranean

Backed by the expo’s original architect Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) – the competition seeks proposals to repair and transform the prominent 75,000m² site.

The estimated £170 million project is the first phase in RPBW’s pro-bono masterplan – dubbed Blueprint for Genoa – covering the wider area between Porta Siberia and Punta Vagno.

According to the brief: ’The competition, based on the Blueprint for Genoa, is intended as the instrument to deal with the issue of the urban voids. The urban void of the former Genoa trade fair is one of the most fragile parts of the city.

‘The competition will design spaces capable of generating places that offer opportunities for people to come together, share values, and celebrate the rituals of what is significantly called “urbanity”.’

Renzo Piano’s original vision for the six hectare expo site – themed Christopher Columbus, The Ship and the Sea – transformed the historic city’s old port into a new conference centre, aquarium and marina.

The latest vision by the architect – who was born in the city 78 years ago – proposes a new shipping canal connecting the industrial Porta Siberia to the site’s circular Sports Complex.

Proposals for the now disused Trade Fair site should deliver around 60,000m² of development around new waterways. Key buildings such as Jean Nouvel’s 30,000m2 Blue Pavilion and the circular Sports Complex will be retained.

The Trade Fair’s ticket office, pavilion C, pavilion D, pavilion M, the former Ansaldo ­Nira building and a 500 metre road overpass will however be demolished.

Concepts should be at least 60 per cent residential with the remaining spaces divided between artisanal light industrial spaces, hospitality facilities and commercial offices. A 20,000m² underground carpark and around 15,000m² of space dedicated to sports and sailing will also be required.

The competition is organised by SPIM Genova – a public company which manages around £250 million worth of property for the city and has completed approximately £420 million worth of land disposals.

Submissions should include six A0 boards featuring scale drawings covering plans, sections and elevations. A separate 20-side A3 document should feature a written description of the concept alongside a business case.

The judging panel will include two architects or engineers chosen by RPBW and the Italian National Council of Architects plus an internationally renowned architectural scholar, an expert in urban planning and design, and an expert in financial assessments of urban development projects.

The winner – set to be announced on 31 January – will receive around £63,000 and see its project taken forward by the city. Three further prize-winning teams will also receive approximately £12,500 each.

The deadline for submissions is 15 December.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

Contact details

SPIM Genova
Via di Francia 1

Email: blueprintcompetition@spimgenova.it

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