Gallery: Winning Design Turns Abandoned Italian Bridge into Eco Village


We have been having a lot of fun profiling projects submitted to the Solar Park South competition which challenged designers to re-imagine a soon to be decommissioned bridge on the Reggio Calabria Highway in Italy. The winning proposal by French team Phillippe Rizzotti and Off Architecture turns the iconic span of roadwork into a vertical village, injecting a sustainable community into the countryside without the resulting impact stemming from development. A well-considered design, the verticality of the residences allows for privacy and views of the unspoiled landscape.

The jury awarded the plan for best meeting a series of needs including aesthetic, environment, economic, social impact and innovation.The proposal calls for a reinforcing 2 meter grid around the bridge which in turn supports platforms to build habitation on. The platforms could be walled in for apartments or left open to enjoy the view and Mediterranean weather.

The entire project is to be self supporting. A geothermal plant will and generator will provide clean, local electricity. Rainwater will be captured in tanks and filtered to feed the domestic needs through a centralized distribution system and heated by methane from a waste biodigestor. Even graywater will be filtered using phytoremediation and in turn be reused. The team won $20,000 Euros for the groundbreaking concept.


Groundbreaking green design strategies are often catalyzed by competitions as architects are challenged to envision a radical departure for built environment solutions. The Solar Park South competition was a unique environmental challenge of repurposing abandoned infrastructure into a sustainable vision in which the winning entries excelled at.

+ Phillippe Rizzotti

+ Off Architecture

+ Solar Park South


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  1. megacnon October 9, 2012 at 10:44 am

    I agree. Another exclusive hideaway for the rich. I would have loved to see something more for the public, such as the idea from Francesco Colarossi, integrating wind turbines and a solar highway to create a sustainable, energy generating public park and farmer’s market. Who was the jury? I am curious what their reasoning was being choosing this one, the one that only certain “classes” could afford opposed to something that will benefit everyone/thing?

  2. Lloydlost February 13, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Nice renders, but do they know that trees have roots? This seems to be a perpetual problem in renders and concepts. Why?

  3. Erik van Lennep February 13, 2011 at 6:00 am

    love to see it get built! (we’re hoping of course that it will all be very well designed against earthquakes….. )

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