The French firms OFF architecture, PR Architect and Samuel Nageotte were awarded by the Solar Park South International design competition for their fabulous idea called Vertical Villages in Calabria, Italy. The theme of the competition was: “solar highway” and the candidates had to use the Salerno-Reggio Calabria highway as a starting point.
This highway is going to be decommissioned by the Italian Highways Authority. The architects had to take into consideration many things: the redesign of the viaduct that was part of the highway and each component had to be integrated with the site’s potential. The goal of the competition was to see if such places could be redeveloped for cultural, economical and social aspects for the region.
The architects thought much of the use of viaducts-they decided to turn them into health, leisure and residential centers because they took into consideration the climate of the Calabre region and they noticed that the weather here is more stable compared to other regions and the surroundings consist in a variety of natural habitats that weren’t affected by human intervention.
The construction of the bridge uses efficient material in order not to impact the landscape too much. The viaduct offers a beautiful view of the Tyrrhenian Sea. This site is near Mt.Etna, the famous active volcano, so the region not only benefits a stable climate and natural surroundings it also has geothermic potential thanks to the volcano.Calabre also attracts many tourists and the good news is that the site allows further extensions- even development of infrastructure to welcome tourists from all over the world.
The old architecture won’t be destroyed-because it offers a historical heritage. The new archeological structure will be the extension of the former one. On the upper part of one of the viaducts a pedestrian promenade will be settled. The infrastructure won’t impact the environment too much, it will fit the natural landscape.