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SEAFRONT BOARDWALK

 

Architectural design:  Giovanni Vaccarini

Construction engineers:  Antimo Battistoni, Marco Mongia

Chronology:   project: 2006; realization: 2007

Executing company:  Lorena Edile

Staff:   Flavia Benigni, Sabrina Romani, Simone Utzeri

Client:  Municipal administration of Giulianova

Location:  Giulianova (TE)

This project concerns the redefinition of the waterfront in Giulianova, a city in the province of Teramo, region of Abruzzo. The city is part of a sprawling conurbation that extends from Apulia as to Marche and Romagna. This is a condition of settlement, but also a socio-cultural condition that characterizes the mid-Adriatic coast. Infrastructure is the element that holds together this "small metropolis": the Adriatic highway (A14), the Bologna-Bari railway, state road SS16 and the secondary road system that winds from north to south. In addition to being a resource (the true backbone of coastal settlement), the infrastructural system also threatens to strangle this territory trapped between the sea and mountains. This system erected a series of barriers between the city (the territory) and the sea. The project addresses the issue of reconnecting the site with the sea.

The site is a long strip of waterfront measuring approximately 800 meters in length and 55 meters in width. It is an area of ??strategic importance for reaching the beach from the central part of the city and for its engagement with the port area. The site was originally modified in the late ‘30s under the Fascist Government (the monumental waterfront). In 1955 this same waterfront was literally dismantled and reassembled, approximately 30 meters to the east, to make room for a second vehicular lane. The current image is that of a two-lane vehicular promenade, a "median" of about 10 metres and a pedestrian boardwalk squeezed into a 3 meter strip.
While a similar operation may make sense in the ear of “cars”, today it is anachronistic: the city wants to reacquire spaces for social and economic actives and new spaces able to represent its new "feeling".

The project proposes reconverting one of the two vehicular lanes into a public pedestrian walkway, with vehicular traffic on one side only. The attempt was to redesign an elongated succession of spaces (from east to west): sea, beach, sandy shore, waterfront promenade, urban roadways, and western sidewalk along the city edge.

The project is a work of landscape architecture:
_ The site is "inhabited" by a system whose minimum components (platform, shade canopy, boxes) are located on land and at sea. Illuminated by mini-solar panels, they offer a code for reading the landscape.