The regeneration of C.so dei Martiri offers a new scenario for Catania, who just lives in that area for many decades a continuous de-urban generation. Like many European cities, but especially Mediterranean, also lives the Catania needed a change. A change that this time is born within its fabric, through an operation of urban regeneration. It ‘a major transformation of urban philosophy, which sees in the recovery inside the city the ability to regenerate other tissues, other parts of the city.
It ‘an action that looks at environmental sustainability, the reduction of the loss of land as a new strategy for our cities. The new project is part already within a system infrastructure, a transport system within the memory town. Important values such as the creation of identity, memory retrieval, which is based on the quality of city life.
And ‘necessary to see the intervention, as the beginning of a process of urban renewal, which for the first time the possibility of extending the city until sea1. Opportunity that would open an extraordinary backdrop of “conquest” of the sea through the creation of a large public space, a linear park that joins the heart of the city to the coast. We called it the Garden of Babylon because terraced houses new gardens and inside the new features targeted at urban facilities, cultural, commercial and service, as well as residential.
But this is not only to host several functions in constructing buildings, but to create the conditions so that these functions are integrated with a new public space. The complexity of urban phenomena, their success, is related to many factors, and chief among them is the quality. Quality must be added a new level of professionalism in the management of these operations, where it is necessary to study new business models and management.
The trade is a fundamental basis of life in the city. For this model the functional look at the evolution of the commercial system. If in the past decades the idea of shopping centers in the suburbs was the only model innovation development, today that model is in crisis for many reasons, not least that of having built strange places, concrete boxes packed that worked in the suburbs because even a bad urban quality.
Today, however, the question has changed and looks with more interest in a return to urban shopping, where he finds a place in the city under a more classical form but associated with a higher quality of urban life and a stronger mixité functions from receptive to the cultural. In this sense, and within this complexity between urban regeneration, quality of public space, the new management of commercial space and cultural that fits the project C.so Martyrs of Liberty.
Contents of the Masterplan
The project involves the creation of a large pedestrian boulevard, a corridor lined by tracing the route of the subway under construction below the project area, it articulates the structure. Around the boulevard, a series of functions extremely varied animate the volumes of the project, which make up a complex system of loggias and terraces seamlessly with the public space. Buildings and boulevards come together in a ‘one big garden, designed to regenerate the urban fabric around her with the quality of its public spaces. What today is lived from citizenship as a break deep within the urban fabric, becomes a space and through-permeable, helping to reconnect the elegant Baroque city center, the railway station and the port.
The project is spread mainly horizontally, keeping the scale of the urban fabric that houses it. In addition to the axis east-west between the center and the sea, the intervention intercepts and enhances its development along a number of roads that cut through the area from north to south, sewing up a large piece of the city and connecting to it through a series of public spaces of renewed quality. It is chosen to work using for the ground floor a system composed of four large plates which subdivide the ground floor slab in four different levels, connected by a capillary system of ramps and steps.
The decision to develop the required functions along the slopes and to interconnect them through winding paths planes gives rise to a series of terraces and interstitial spaces to be allocated to green areas and socialization whose inclusion stems from the desire to redevelop the area of intervention and return a public space accessible and comfortable in the service of citizenship. Source by Mario Cucinella Architects.
Location: Catania, Italy
Architect: Mario Cucinella Architects
Project Team: Mario Cucinella, Hyun Seok Kim (Concept Design), Luca Bertacchi (Concept Design and Masterplan), Michele Olivieri (Architect in charge for Preliminary Phase), Giuseppe Perrone, Alberto Casarotto, Alberto Menozzi, Gianluca Tabellini, Noa Shoval, Sara Trueba Fonseca, Yuri Costantini (model maker)
Commercial layout consultants: Cushman&Wakefield
3D Rendering: Cristian Chierici – CC79
Surface area: 240.000 sqm
Year: 2012/15 – current project
Client: ISTICA-CECOS, RISANAMENTO SAN BERILLO
Images: Courtesy of Mario Cucinella Architects