The Eastern Waterfront project, designed and donated to the city by the architect Renzo Piano, is changing the face of the former Fiera di Genoa exhibition area by giving back the city a view over the sea and creating a living space for all its citizens, a new urban quarter scheduled to be completed in 2023.
The quarter will comprise a nautical district, a new-look Palasport, or indoor sports stadium, an urban park and a residential zone complete with services, accommodation facilities and commercial activities. Disused buildings in an area of about 100,000 square metres will be turned into a veritable città del mare, a “city of the sea” connecting Genoa with its natural boundary, the sea itself.
The master plan embodies a vision of the Genoa of the future, a city that is reshaping itself through processes of wide-ranging urban regeneration according to advanced criteria of environmental sustainability.
The demolition of some of the old fair pavilions will make it possible to develop a series of new infrastructures, such as the park, offices, services, houses, hotels and a students’ residence.
The old Palasport, a building that has left its mark on the history of the city, will be completely renovated to restore it to its function as a sports hub and a venue for major events.
Alongside it, a canal will be opened to offer hospitality to pleasure craft and act as a yachting hub.
Two new blocks will be built to house a total of 300 residential apartments, a new Torre Piloti, or Pilots’ Tower, will be erected and a park, a new green lung for the city, will be installed.
The new Waterfront will be connected to the city by extending the bike and pedestrian path, which will also join the area with the tourist village of Boccadasse.
The aim is to create an attractive new public space with an abundance of services, to “take” the city onto the sea via two entirely new canals. Looking onto them, like an island, will be the new area around Jean Nouvel’s historic trade fair pavilion.
The citizens of Genoa and visitors will thus be presented with a regenerated area, a space open to use, packed with planning and social potential, and connected to the urban fabric by bike and pedestrian paths.
- The Palasport
The restyling project will salvage the old Palasport structure, which will be reborn as a space for sport and events. At the centre, a vast sports arena will be suitable also for cultural events and shows. The building will respond to the most modern standards of energy efficiency to enhance its architectural beauty and characteristics.
This new indoor stadium will interface with a sports district dedicated in particular to sailing and including a whole quarter characterised by residential areas, hotels and commercial enterprises. It will represent a strong pole of attraction of high architectural and symbolic value.
- The residential area
The trade fair pavilion B, designed by the great French architect Jean Nouvel near the Palasport, will be integrated into a whole new panorama. Three blocks housing a total of 300 apartments with sea views will be built on the east side as part of a far-reaching real estate operation.
- The new canals, a navigable mini-district
A canal will be installed between Jean Nouvel’s pavilion and the Palasport. It will be 40 metres long, crossed by bridges and connected, in turn, to the main canal, which will be excavated in the months to come. The main canal, which will measure 200 metres in length and 35 in width, will be open for the mooring of boats on either side. Quays will be built along the perimeter of the canal as a site for related businesses and facilities, with spaces for yachting clubs, associations, sea sports equipment shops and restaurants.
- The new Torre Piloti
The new Torre Piloti, or Pilots’ Tower, a marine traffic control structure equipped with the most advanced technologies, will be installed in the wet dock facing Jean Nouvel’s pavilion. It will be 60 metres tall with photovoltaic panels and a Control Centre on its top. This is another project that symbolises the renewal of the city by combining functionality with technique.
- The promenade
The best-loved promenade of the citizens of Genoa is Corso Italia. The revamped bike and pedestrian path will follow the area of the Waterfront as far as Boccadasse, an attractive little the fishing village.
- The nature reserve
A new urban park will be developed in the new area: it will be planted with about 1,000 trees, with a predominance of precious forest species. This nature reserve will cover an area of 16,000 square metres and will act as a new “green lung” for the city.