The development of a new freeway that replaces the present one and its viaducts from the 1960/70s offers manifold potentials for handling the existing structures. Parco Solare Sud – Nests for European Snowbirds proposes a sensible conversion of one of the viaducts into vertical homes, 5km east of Scilla in southern Italy. The homes are intended for European retirees attracted by lifestyle factors including the climate and breathtaking scenery overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea.
The vertical piles of the bridge are reinforced to improve their structural capacity, with horizontal platforms created to house living units, medical services, recreation and shops. It includes the usage of renewable energies including geothermal power based on hot dry rock technology. Rainwater is harvested; water from the geothermal system is recycled in the sanitation system; and, following use treated by phytoremediation and methanization. The Nests for European Snowbirds is a unique building that promotes the identity and attractiveness of the region with regard to its economy.
Comment of the Holcim Awards jury Europe
The jury endorsed this project as an excellent example of the smart transformation of an existing structure into a completely different use offering new economic chances to an up until now neglected region.
Remarkable is the minimal footprint and the way the scheme efficiently makes use of the bridge’s supporting structure that is to accommodate the infrastructure and technical utilities. The fact that the bridge will not be demolished results in a positive material balance and reduces the overall expenses.