Ancient Viaduct Recycled into a Gorgeous Eco Retirement Village
The winning entry of the Solar Park South international design competition in Calabria, Italy is this audacious recycling idea.
The architects at French firm PR+OFF won for their plan to reuse the ancient viaduct itself and recycle its structure into the struts to support a vertical retirement village.
By reusing the old viaduct form, the project consolidates their original identity, but also offers a futuristic new scenario of a very atypical development to these ancient and significant forms built in the days of ancient Rome.
Of course, modern engineering construction forms would be reverse-engineered into the ancient viaduct “bones” to create this innovative 21st century retirement village.
The architects would build their eco village right onto the existing architectural form of ancient Roman viaducts, in order to minimize the impact upon the landscape of building a new development.
Calabre’s climate is among the most stable in the world, with neither excessive heat nor extreme cold. The climate and proximity to the sea makes Calabre the optimal holiday resort for a retirement village.
The intoxicating scents of Bergamot, a rare citrus fruit, fills the fresh sea air around the structure. Almost 95% of the world’s Bergamot production comes from Calabre, with the rest coming from the equally temperate Ivory coast, Morocco and Portugal.
The viaducts already had intrinsic qualities that lent themselves to this architectural recycling. The lanes crossing are very well connected as they were formerly main roads that had been in use for centuries.
They were built to accept a heavy traffic flow, so the potential load of the bridges is better than normal. The ancient ‘pile & deck’ structure was designed to span as far as possible, using as few material as possible.
The ancient engineering results in a very sustainable building practice, limiting the impact upon the landscape of such a large structure, that the new structure can build upon.