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.