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Renzo Piano unveils design for replacement Genoa bridge

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Renzo Piano has unveiled designs for a €200 million replacement bridge in his hometown of Genoa after the previous structure collapsed killing 43 people

The Italian architect, who designed the new crossing pro-bono after the disaster in the northern port city, was officially appointed this week by the consortium of Italian contractors which won the rebuild contract.

A central section of the Polcevera viaduct, known locally as the Morandi bridge, collapsed in August in a storm, crushing cars and buildings underneath. 

In a statement, Piano said it would be a ‘great honour’ to contribute the design to his city and said the bridge would be ‘beautiful’, adding: ‘Building is always a gesture of solidarity, and I am sure it will also be a reason for pride.’

The new bridge will be illuminated by 43 lamps placed at intervals – one for each victim of the tragedy – and will have ‘elements of a boat’ in its design to reflect the city’s maritime history.

According to Italian media reports, Piano showed sketches to Genoa officials showing the road sitting on pillars which resembled the prow of a ship.

Speaking in The Observer in August, Piano said that he felt it was his mission to be involved after the tragedy.

‘It must be a place where people can recognise the tragedy in some way, while also providing a great entrance to the city,’ he said. ‘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.’

The contractor said it was aiming to complete the new structure in 12 months.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • This really is grotesque and offensive...
    Who was the bridge engineer? It surely was not Piano, who, as i recall, is an architect...
    Give credit to the engineer !

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  • It displays the simplicity of Renzo Piano at his best, but would it be so pure and simple in execution? My recollection of the images of the Morandi bridge were of a structure over buildings not a park?

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