Town-planning of the port, Cagliari

Client: Autorità portuale di Cagliari
Chronology: Design: 1996 - 1997
General contractor: MARCONSULT s.r.l.
Urban design: Mario Gallarati with Simonetta Cenci, Letizia Masciotta, Laura Roccatagliata
Maritime works: Fabrizio Ruggeri

The town-planning hypotheses here contained are developed in two distinct though strictly related moments: the first consists in a “structural survey” of the whole territory whose harbour areas form its sea-front; the second in the translation of the elements derived from the survey, integrated with the necessary considerations of functional type, into project previsions.
In particular the first moment, devoted to the understanding of the formative and evolutive processes of the structures of the territory and carried out by successive “levels” (from the territory to the urban organism, the fabric, the building types), has brought to the identification of the evolutive and transformative attitudes of the different harbour areas with reference to the more general prospects of development of the whole territory considered, and of the operative instruments apt to grant a correct insertion of the harbour structures in the territory and a pertinent qualification of the interventions on the same.
It is in this sense that the “interpretation of the urban morphology” has addressed the plan choices not only regarding the location of the different activities within the harbour area, but -chiefly for what concerns the zones to be considered more “delicate”from the point of view of their relationship with the city- also for what concerns the organization inside the single zone: that is, the identification of the reference “axes”, the division into lots of the productive activities and services, the very definition of the different architectural solutions for each single building.
The second moment, concerning the project choices, has consisted in the translation into operative terms of the general indications drawn from the “survey”: on the one hand, in fact, the typological invariants have been singled out, which characterize the area object of study and determine its compatibility with different hypotheses of destination and transformation, independently of the contingent programming requirements; on the other hand, inside the net of town-planning compatibility as defined above, the project previsions have been developed, verified in the light of those which result to be the needs and requests today.
In the first place, according not only to the identified attitude of particular areas to the settlement of functions of “polar” character (functions of a collective type, of a strong aggregative or unifying value, usually situated in central urban areas) or “antipolar” (specialistic functions by nature more suited for periphery localizations), but also to the specific necessities of a logistic- functional type, the different activities present in the harbour area have been reorganized by homogeneous cathegories.
Secondly, the study of the port- city relationship has made it possible to identify the axes and the road junctions to refer to when reorganizing the harbour areas.
In the third place, the analysis of the urban fabric has provided the reference criteria for the organization of the areas to be divided into lots to be assigned in concession for the different productive activities, and for the rearrangement of the area facing via Roma.
Lastly, with reference to the just mentioned area, the “survey” of its relation with the existing buildings has given the elements for the first project choices concerning the architectural foundation of the new volumes of the project, whose correct linguistic -environmental insertion is the primary condition for a more accomplished and qualified integration of the port with the city.
The plan outlines the basic conditions for a compatible rearrangement of the sea-front of the city, and particularly of the harbour areas in connection with the urban fabric at the back, within a recovery programme of such areas to town life.
1) Acknowledgement of today’s urban scale role of via Roma, which is prefigured as a potential barycentric axis of an urban system comprehensive of the historic urban fabric of the Marina quarter and of the facing harbour areas, polarized by piazza Matteotti and piazza Deffenu at the two ends;
2) acknowledgement of the system of punctual knots formed by the successive intersections of the urban axis of via Roma with the axes of the built-up area perpendicular to the coast-line, which organize the whole urban fabric of Marina (but for the thin 20th Century building curtain looking on the same via Roma), and of the subsequent attitude of those functions to qualify as natural capillary links between the old town and the sea-front;
3) acknowledgement of the system of progressive spacial and functional grades introduced into the network of streets orthogonal to the coast by the opening of largo Carlo Felice and viale Regina Margherita and, as a consequence, of the possible graduation of the corresponding functions of interchange between port and city;
4) acknowledgement of the value of main “counter-axes” of the same largo Carlo Felice and viale Regina Margherita as to the urban axis of via Roma and of the “polarizing” character of the corresponding junctions, with an attitude to determine the formation of the main points of interchange and the localization of eventual further functions of collective interest;
5) acknowledgement of the “serial” character of the historic building fabric, with particular reference to the fabric of the areas at the back of the harbour- front. There are clearly present the strong characters of specificity which still connote Cagliari’s built form, in contrast with the homologous and generic features of the more recent realizations. Of that building fabric are here summarily singled out the formative phases and evolutive attitudes along development directrices prolonging the axes of the building fabric orthogonal to the coast;
6) acknowledgement of the relationship, in terms of localization and modular development, between building fabric and special building types, with particular reference to religious buildings, characterized by the presence of unitary spaces, the only ones to consent, by their diffusion within the urban fabric, a “comparative” reading from which may be derived general criteria for the solution of project themes concerning buildings of a collective interest.