Port Authority of Ravenna
The project was the winner of a design contest in 2001. It is the first of a set of projects that relate to the urban reconstruction plan for the port's disposal of the last part of the Canale Candiano in Ravenna.
The construction of the Port Authority's headquarters was the necessary starting point for the link between the historic city and the port, and it was an interesting opportunity to try to make a quality architecture. The Port Authority's institutional role has offered us an opportunity to seek image and image replication, not only tied to the functionality and the satisfaction of spaces and services, but also able to play a leading role for the whole Dock of cities and for its future development.
The building is parallel to the Candiano Canal as a solid volume and of great architectural strength but at the same time simple and easy to read. The main intent of the project was to make the building live in a continuous and direct relationship with the Canal from the ground floor: it is enclosed by a stone base that elevates the ground floor to a height of +1.50 creating a square open to the Channel. The square is reached by three sides by a system of arcades / ramps and gradings that articulate and design the complexity of the paths and leaps, multiplying the views and glimpses, ensuring the continuity of the public between the two road fronts.
The quay and canal linear system, after generating the base and the gallery / square, wraps around a central hollow body, rises upwards for two floors, creating a totally transparent court, then expands into the terraces and roof system. Above the stone base, a brick skin cuts the entire volume of the building, wrapping up the complexities of the interior and combining technical necessities with a material whose expressive features coincide with the memory of the city itself.
The linear structure of the canal and canal also exerts an interesting tension on the façades of the building, which is strongly characterized by horizontal cuts that mark the ribbon openings along almost the entire perimeter. Where the tension is stronger, ie along the slopes, the cuts enter and exit the section of the building, emphasizing its horizons and creating interesting volumetric solutions and shadow effects.
The cover system is a fundamental part of the project, both from the point of view of architectural, functional and environmental well-being. The vertical scanning of the building can therefore be summed up in three areas: a solid and material-matched base that builds the urban environment and paths, a lightweight, transparent double glazed floor and a shielding coverage system that interacts with the surrounding environment.