Ancient Viaduct Recycled into a Gorgeous Eco Retirement Village | Home Design Find

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Ancient Viaduct Recycled into a Gorgeous Eco Retirement Village

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The winning entry of the Solar Park South international design competition in Calabria, Italy is this audacious recycling idea.

The brief called for a ‘Solar Highway’ re-using Salerno-Reggio Calabria highway sections between Scilla and Bagnara to be decommissioned by the Italian Highways Authority.
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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.

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Of course, modern engineering construction forms would be reverse-engineered into the ancient viaduct “bones” to create this innovative 21st century retirement village.

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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.

The site is one of unspoiled natural beauty, overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea.vertical villages for european snowbirds 4 green

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.
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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.

Via Bustler

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7 Comments so far to “Ancient Viaduct Recycled into a Gorgeous Eco Retirement Village”
  1. Robin Horton/Urban Gardens Says:

    Brilliant! Such a great design and solution for reusing the structure.

  2. Frank Hanlan Says:

    At first glance this looks like a great project reusing existing facilities in an area with a great climate and views. However, there are practical questions such as: can they grow some of their own food?: Where are the grocery stores, cleaners, hair dressers, parking lots, gas stations or preferably EV recharging stations, clothing stores, etc? What recreation facilities will be incorporated? As long as people do not have mobility issues evacuating in case of an emergency shouldn't be too difficult hopefully. But what about large traffic accidents especially involving semis carrying gas or other volatile materials, or if cars become airborne and land on part of one of the buildings?
    There is also an issue that relates to all high rises (or anything over 4 or 5 storeys and that is replacing an elevator after 25 years. Quite often cost can easily run US $1 million.

  3. John Says:

    This inspired my 1st comment on here: This is one of the most horrible architecture ideas I've seen in years!!! It makes me angry!

    1) The Ancients who build such things are more advanced than this designer! They are not improving upon the long lasting functional green structure. It also doesn't look like a pile of perpendicular steel and glass garbage. The man cutting grass in the sky is especially foolish; fine for some artwork but foolish outside that. I never was a fan of the busy style of trying to copy the formless patternless garbage heap. (and making it light up doesn't trick me; anything that sparkles appeals to our fish genes…I won't swallow the bait.)

    2) Ancient structure defaced and destroyed (oh but we are using the crushed rubble as aggregate!) for a short-term structure! In 50-100 years it'll all get torn down. The Ancient structure should be preserved out of respect; this is like a death sentence or a really expensive remodel for the grandchildren. It sure doesn't look like they are using the old structure to me; just using the rubble pile in the cement mix.

    Say, lets tear down The Colosseum and pay homage to its iconic shape with some latex paint on the new plastic stadium!

    3) Totally impractical over exposed design; maintenance and storm issues abound. That structure is going to suck up wind its so bad. Seriously? waist high glass guard rails?? Sorry but the lawn mower floor just can't get out of my mind… my mower ejects things at high speed out the right side… which do not hit glass guard rails and the plot of grass doesn't cost me ten of thousand+ dollars per year. a green roof does something; just wasting space for grass in a garden is only green in color.

    4) Where is the ugly parking lot? The new road leading up to it? How long will the surrounding land remain nice if you are starting out by killing the signature landmark?

  4. Susan Kraemer Says:

    Haha…!!! Thanks for waiting, John, :-)

  5. jack Says:

    Open letter to all architects. PUT DOWN THE MOUSE AND PICK UP A SHOVEL.

  6. Susan Kraemer Says:

    Hahaha!!! Well said!

  7. Susan Kraemer Says:

    Don't feel bad! There is no right or wrong when it comes to aesthetic ideas. I think it is really inspiring on one level, a great reuse. On another hand, I can understand those who say "architects need to put down the mouse and pick up a shovel!" We can get something wonderful out of even ideas that in real life might be a bit over the top.

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