From Realtà Mapei International n° 76 - 05/09/2019
What constraints and requirements were imposed by the client for the redevelopment and refurbishment project of Trieste waterfront in Lignano?
The client asked the design team to use materials that offered the maximum durability coupled with low non-scheduled maintenance requirements.
What challenge or challenges did you have to face during this project?
To maintain the existing trees and create an aeration system for the roots of the marine pines to improve their stability. Also, it was extremely complicated to rebuild the rhomboid-shaped reinforced concrete paving using stone and metal mesh (as specified by the Local Heritage Body) and to identify the most suitable mix of exposed aggregate concrete that could simulate the effect of sand being blown onto the road (another requirement of the project).
Why did the designers opt for stone and exposed aggregate concrete for the paving?
The main aim of the urban strategy for the waterfront was to close the gap, which was in part an inherent feature which had become accentuated over the years, between the beach and the town, to give them back their role as the measure and stimulus for the development of this seaside town. The intention was for the waterfront to become a meeting point between these two realities and to encourage their osmosis, not just a simple point of passage or a border.
The reason for choosing these materials was to create attractive paving that was also highly durable, to enhance the intersection system between the town and the beach. Stone paving was chosen to connect the town to the main services offered by the beach by having a pedestrian route on the northern side of the waterfront marked out entirely in stone, while the paving on the south side in yellow exposed aggregate ties it in with the sand of the beach. For the road, on the other hand, in agreement with the Local Heritage Body, it was decided to use concrete with exposed aggregate to recall the paving from the past installed in 1936 as a landing strip for military aircraft.
What is the most original or distinctive feature of this project?
Undoubtedly it is the way we have managed to maintain all the existing trees and improve their conditions, with an innovative aeration system for their roots, which makes the trees more stable by anchoring the roots more firmly. In all we treated 405 trees, 29 of which had to be replaced because they had been fallen or been damaged by storms or disease; at the start of the project it was estimated that 40 of them would have to be replaced. By choosing this innovative aeration system not only did we improve the living conditions of the trees, it was also possible to have the stone and exposed aggregate concrete paving right next to each other and considerably reduce the physiological problem of the roots of the trees protruding and damaging the surface which, without such a system, are the cause of the typical and dangerous lifting of paving.