Venice-based architecture firm TAMassociati has teamed up with sa_partners and Franco Giorgetta Landscape Architect to design Porta del Ticino — Urban Living Lab, a future-proof masterplan for a large post-industrial site in the southern Swiss city of Bellinzona. Developed as part of an invited competition by the Canton, Municipality and SBB-Swiss Railways, the urban proposal reimagines the heart of the cantonal capital as a living organism that flexibly adapts to change over time with a systemic and non-linear approach. The large-scale masterplan also aims to achieve zero emissions with 100% renewable energy.

Continue reading below
Our Featured Videos
aerial rendering of green city district

The Porta del Ticino — Urban Living Lab outlines a plan to redevelop a 120,000-square-meter site currently dominated by the industrial complex of the Officine Bellinzona, the area’s most important heavy-industry company with over 130 years of history that will be relocated to a new site within a few years. To offset the future industrial development outside of the city, the design team has centered their proposed masterplan on a large public green lung — dubbed the Almenda — that will comprise 6.4 hectares of biotic area and 3.2 hectares of agricultural area to naturally regulate the city’s climate.

Related: SOM designs a low-carbon waterfront community for China’s “most livable city”

rendering of arched ceiling full of skylights over a retail center below

In addition to a spacious re-naturalized area, the development will also emphasize the site’s history with visual connections to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Bellinzona Castle and the “Cathedral,” an industrial stone building iconic of the Officine Bellinzona factory. A mix of commercial, educational, administrative, residential and other development typologies will be integrated along a “green kilometer” that will link the river and mountains along a north-south route.

rendering of old train station leading to a lush park

The masterplan would be implemented in phases to allow for modular and flexible growth at variable speeds with reduced environmental impact. To ensure sustainable growth, the project follows an “eMergetic evaluation” concept that considers the entire building lifecycle to minimize the city’s carbon footprint. The proposal also includes planned energy policy objectives with zero-emission targets, renewable energy systems and environmental monitoring.

+ TAMassociati

Images via TAMassociati

aerial rendering of city buildings topped with green roofs