Piazza della Repubblica

Location:Portoferraio, Italy
Program:Renovation and landscape of central Piazza ~4000m2
Client:Comune di Portoferraio
Status:Competition - 2nd place
The project has multiple objectives to be achieved in different areas. The final aim of the interventions is to transform Piazza della Repubblica into a lively and recognizable space in the historical city center of Portoferraio. Combining the greenery with a usable and multifunctional square we want to create conditions of urban comfort that increase the receptivity of the complex, in line with the historical continuity of the place. In particular, the prominence that will be given to the Cathedral and the War Memorial Monument outlines the new Piazza della Repubblica as an integral element of the tourist system of the historic center, making it an important attraction in Portoferraio. It will be a square that will favor parking, commerce and community sociality in a quality urban space. A HISTORIC CONCEPT The existing situation, mainly defined by the urban intervention of 1900 and the following urban and architectural decay up to today’s parking condition, will initially be modified by two main actions: – The decision to preserve the existing trees, for ecological and historical reasons, with the consequent limitation in the demolition of the retaining walls of the twentieth-century embankment; – The extension of the sloping portion of the square including the churchyard; this will emphasize and reconnect the Duomo to the square, of which it has become an appendix in the configuration of 1900. The limit identified for the extension of the square is the first stairway descending from the embankment starting from the Cathedral, resulting in approximately 21 meters more of extension. Having thus defined the square in these two areas of influence – the eastern part linked to the cathedral, more open and communal, and the western part raised and separated by the retaining walls of the embankment – the project looks to the past to generate a new urban form and architectural, creating a continuity of references with the future square. On these two new areas the layout of the 1900 gardens is restored with two roundabouts and the central axis that continues Via Cavalieri di Vittorio Veneto and creates a point of arrival for the ascent from the Molo Mediceo. In the western part, the rotunda defines the avenue of the gardens. In the eastern part, the rotunda is manifested through the pergola and the different flooring; one side of this becomes a hemicycle that connects the two parts of the square via a stairway/seat, bridging the gap between the part of the square on the embankment and the excavated one. The two different areas make it possible to define a “green” space and a “social” space of the Piazza, with different possible functions linked to the area to which they belong.