Design team’s masterplan for historic Swiss town is future-ready | Architecture

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A project team consisting of TAMassociati, sa_partners and Franco Giorgetta Landscape Architect, has created a large-scale masterplan for a massive industrial site located in the heart of Bellinzona in Switzerland. The Swiss-Italian team was chosen following an international competition for the urban development project commissioned by the City of Bellinzona, Canton of Ticino and SBB-Swiss Railways.

Named ‘Porta del Ticino – Urban Living Lab’, the project is a sustainable regeneration plan for a 120,000-square-metre (12 hectares) site that’s dominated by the Officine Bellinzona industrial complex. Officine is a major heavy industry company in Ticino, and an important driver of the economy in the capital city of Bellinzona for over 130 years. The FFS Workshops at the site will be relocated to free up the land for redevelopment.

The urban masterplan aims to gradually develop and transform the Officine industrial site into a modern district that will serve the evolving needs of several generations well into the future. In addition to the environmental focus, the project also aims for a harmonious coexistence between the historicity of the town and a future built on architectural and urban planning criteria that will constantly evolve to address changing needs.

“The city of the future will be like a living, flexible organism capable of adapting to the changes that rapidly evolving societies and contexts will impose on territories and urban communities,” says TAMassociati.

The transformation path of the masterplan takes a non-linear, flexible approach with a clear vision of the proposed development that aims to achieve the right balance between building density and public spaces, as well as create mixed use environments that promote the coexistence of housing, education, work and culture.

The project will develop around the Almenda, a large public space conceptualised as the green lung of the new district; one of the ideas for this area is to combine low building density with high biotic density to create a thriving urban green space based on biodiversity, quality of life and revitalisation. 

The plan proposes building developments and settlements along the perimeter of the green infrastructure. The historic Cathedral will capitalise on its centralised location to become a hub for urban living, and will include a large community park, a cultural space for events, exhibitions and shows, greenhouses, restaurants and bars, shared offices and experimental residences. Adjacent to this, an Innovation Park will be created with spaces dedicated to start-ups, research laboratories, and schools.

To meet environmental and sustainable living goals, the project will aim for 100% renewable energy, zero greenhouse gas emissions, development of new living technologies and building materials to achieve energy sustainability, and widespread urban green roofs. Sustainable mobility combining public transport with walking and cycling routes, and a diversified housing offer capable of promoting intergenerational and cultural coexistence are some of the highlights of this future perfect vision.

Images: Nuovo Quartiere Officine



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