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 RizzottiandOff Architecture turns the iconic span of roadwork into a vertical village, injecting a sustainable communityinto 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.

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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 bymethane 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