About a bridge over troubled water

Location: Verbania

Year: 2019

Competition: Europan 15

Size: 16 hectares

Design team: A.A. Dutto, A. Aliangena,

                           A.Giordano, P. Menzardi

Verbania is a city born from the union of three villages. In the core of Verbania, a big factory for the production of cellulose, closed in 2010. The building represents a symbol in the collective memory of the inhabitants: at least one inhabitant per family worked in it. The competition proposes to re-functionalize the area of the factory consisting of sheds and a big green area facing the stream San Bernardino. However, a part of the site is still operating and is excluded from the perimeter of the competition area.

The project proposes a cycle and pedestrian path (in red) that crosses the entire area of the factory. A bridge allow to overcome the sheds, then it continues on the ground connecting industrial ruins along its path. Finally, it passes through a circular building (the only new building) that is a cycle-station.

The cycleway extends beyond the factory site and develops at the foot of the hill in order to connect the main public buildings between Suna and Intra. The entrance of the former Acetati factory is arranged as a green area bounded by the bridge the facade of the factory. The high pylons of the bridge replace the image of the chimney of the former factory.

The cycle-station hosts the main services of the cycleway: bike-parking, bike-sharing, toilets and a bar. At the center of the  cycle-station stands a large green area, equipped with a cistern and crossed by the cycleway. The cycle-station is places near the road and integrates public mobility services.

The former Acetati factory is transformed into a research center with labs, business Incubator, expo & meeting spaces and re-use center. The functional diagram provides for a large enclosure without internal subdivisions topped by a bridge that crosses the whole factory from one side to the other.

The bridge strengthen the collective memory of the factory. Moreover, it provides panoramic views towards the lake and suggestive sight of the church Madonna di Campagna.

At the territorial scale, the cycleway is planned to develop along the perimeter of Lake Maggiore. The pool of productive resources offered by the area of Verbania is polarized towards the factory which presents itself as an opportunity for an innovative pole of circular economy.

© 2021

A.A. Dutto

e-mail: info[at]aadutto.com