The Solar Park South international competition recently unveiled a winning design that breathes new life into the abandoned Salerno-Reggio Calabria highway in Italy. A team composed of OFF architecture, PR architect and Samuel Nageotte of France has devised an ambitious plan to reuse the viaduct rather than spending money to demolish it. The result is a series of vertical holiday residences that use as little construction materials as possible.
The region surrounding the viaduct is breathtaking, overlooking the sea, surrounded by mountains, and overgrown with wild Bergamot. The weather is pleasant and warm, with plenty of sunshine year round. Geared toward the retirees from Northern Europe, who migrate south for nicer weather and easier living, the complex will be well equipped with medical centers and leisure spaces. The upper viaduct road will become a pedestrian promenade for leisurely walks and impeccable views. Lower decks will become roadways that lead to neighboring towns.
The team’s plan is to pay tribute to the original viaduct, which was built amid the Italian countryside long ago. The new structure will encase the existing support system and arches will be rebuilt, so as not to further disturb the region. Using a “pile and deck” technique, residences and commercial spaces will be stacked on top of each other — the cantilevered structures will house apartments, balconies, even small golfing greens.
The proximity of Mt. Etna also means that the whole complex could be geothermally powered. If the project comes to fruition the ambitious reuse of this abandoned viaduct/highway will surely become a leisure destination in beautiful Calabre.