Initially, cognitive analyses of the harbour area and the area adjacent to it were conducted to understand and study the context to identify the needs of the people and the place. The basic idea is rooted in history and the close relationship that the city has had with the sea; the reinterpretation of this character, always present throughout the millennia, found a modern line and in accordance with the urban and collective needs of contemporary society, in fact, being a maritime city, we decided to focus on its greatest resource: the sea.
The new interaction between land and sea is based on a return to the past, rediscovering the roots of its history through a new link with the Mediterranean.
The project is based on the concept of marine and terrestrial "flows," which, intersecting, create a new dialogue between the two elements by redesigning the city coastline through operations of addition and subtraction of surfaces and volumes increasing the quality of the city's urban space.
Traffic from the highway dedicated to Charles Helou is diverted inward into the city, redeveloping the infrastructure, now seen as a barrier to reaching the sea, into an element connecting parts of the city and transformed into a tourist attraction as it is redeveloped into a commercial pedestrian street.
Importance has been given to slow mobility flows, as most of the population moves through the area using a private motorized vehicle; bicycle and pedestrian paths and walkways have been massively implemented at the expense of motorized mean, beginning a revolution under the banner of sustainable mobility that will become one of the pillars of the mobility of the future.
With the creation of new places in the spaces (square island and the islands created in the centre of the lake carved out of the space to the right), we go on to increase what is the complexity of the project, thinking of areas to recreate in the middle of the water away from the city chaos.
Finally, the breakwater promenade allows a panoramic view of the entire redeveloped waterfront in such a way as to admire the beauty of the sea on one side and that of its city on the other.
The analyses conducted on the area surrounding the harbor concern the social and economic aspects of daily life in the city. We analyzed the aspects that we believe, with careful planning, can greatly improve life in the city. The analyses cover the daily life of the city (mode of travel, average wealth of the citizen), presence of social attractors, public recreational spaces, buildings damaged by the explosion and the flows of goods in the area. The results are quite poor, the presence of social gathering places is low, the damaged buildings are numerous, and the city traffic is very dense.
The basic idea of the project finds its core in history and its relationship with the Mediterranean Sea, reinterpreting it in a modern way projected to the needs of the modern citizen. The project is based on the concept of sea and land flows that animate the coast by subtracting and adding volumes to the complex orthography of the land.
The causeway will be totally emptied of traffic, which will be diverted to the city's interior, leaving that strip of coastline freer, and founding the prerequisites for its change of use. In fact, it will be redeveloped as a commercial pedestrian street, building above the stores, and studying and incorporating it into a tourist route for visiting the new port area. The Charles Helou station below will also be redeveloped and become a small exhibition space for temporary exhibitions or booths, leaving the bus station on the first floor.
The importance of slow mobility flows in the project is crucial; most of the population moves around the area using a motorized private vehicle. The intention is to move the city more and more toward this mode of connection, several bicycle and pedestrian routes will be built within the area with the possibility of future development within the city as well.
The creation of new islands within the area allows citizens to take advantage of new recreational areas in the middle of the water within the area raising the quality of life of the citizens themselves and making the city more and a more tourist destination, which with its walk on the new ecological breakwater will be able to admire the repopulation of marine fauna on the coast as well as enjoy the breathtaking view of the sea.
The new studies and technologies developed for coastal prevention and protection, allow for increasing control of natural disasters by reducing their damaging effects on the environment, which are significantly increased by global warming; they are crucial to the implementation of the project, as the need to protect the coast, is becoming an increasingly topical issue:
- oysters filter and clean the water of impurities, as well as mitigate the effects of storms on the area.
- seagrasses, on the other hand, not only improve water quality but also recreate the natural habitat for marine species by promoting coastal repopulation.
- the ecological breakwater has the same effect, an anthropological infrastructure built with environmentally protective technologies to promote marine repopulation.
In addition to marine technologies for coastal protection, construction technologies have also been implemented to improve the efficiency of new building and weigh less and less on the production of electricity from non-renewable sources:
- green roofs reduce energy waste by significantly lowering building temperature and avoiding mechanized cooling.
- urban forestation reduces the temperature of the city during the day by creating shaded areas where people can take shelter during the hottest hours.
- active walls in power generation and building insulation contribute greatly to reducing the building's energy consumption.
- open public spaces on the first floor to increase the areas of shade needed, especially during the summer.