At the core of this proposal is the will to stress the limits of the call: half of the requested mass requested is in fact shifted on the plot of the Pavilion S, altering its program and structure, while the north part of the lot is freed up from big structure. A bet on quality driven public space design, sewing up the Porto Antico area with Corso Italia, as stated in the original BluePrint.
This proposal gathers a quality-driven public space in the northen area of the competition lot, just below the Carginano quarter, creating a continuity with Corso Italia seafront promenade and the open spaces system of Piazza Rossetti and Piazzale Kennedy.
These are nowadays empty fields, dominated by the Pavilion S, an enormous yet blank structure, not even related with an urban dynamic.
On this existing building we propose a radical transformation to a more fabric-linked element, providing a proper facade to it, a basic tool to interact with the existing urban scenery of Piazza Rossetti and creating a proper public space set.
The project provides various facilities to the area, aiming to gather the more visitor in this northen area, to turn this beaver of a medium speed infrastructure such as Soprelevata into a “window” on the intervention area, giving a public access to the canal planned to be realized all around the Pavilion B by Jean Nouvel. On a similar approach to Pavilion S, the large footprint of the Nouvel blue’s pavilion gets surrounded with a system of three different residential buildings which, shaping the canal itself.
The leftover interior of the Pavilion S maintains its original program of covered plaza for public events, extending under its covered profile the external public promenade; this would allow sport-oriented activities for organizations as well as informal public activities which require a safe covered space (ice skating arena, concert venue, weekly market or small-scale expos).
The design strategy therefore plans to provide a new urban role the the gigantic main characters of the former Expo area: Pavilions B and S.
Two blank “urban canvas” turned into resonant sceneries to allow a positive ascendancy on public space.
As anticipated by the masterplan’s appearance, Pavilion S is the pivotal operation of the plan: the success of the whole urban transformation depends on its outcome. In our team’s intent keeping this amazing structure to its present program would be an unsustainable waste of potential. An enormous yet unused device that regardlessly influences the surrounding. As requested from the competition brief we are asked to enhance it, yet we still think that the only positive transformation would be a deep one, even focusing on its footprint most of the requested volumes. Conscious of the unexpected appearance it could achieve, we aim to bet on its uniqueness, elevating its role to some of other European capitals’ landmarks, such as Rotterdam Market Hall. The brief specifically requests to utilize its large unused areas on the Ground Floor, while our operations adds offices areas at upper levels on the existing structures; a newly custom designed structure allows us to graft into other four levels a number of different program’s surface: hotel areas, an hostel, housing for students and regular housing units. The main intervention plans to surrounds the pavilion structural core with a ring-shaped self standing metallic frameworks, detached from the concrete structure which supports the admirable existing dome.