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Renzo Piano is ready to help rebuild the Morandi bridge

Italy Architecture News - Aug 27, 2018 - 05:30   17326 views

Renzo Piano is ready to help rebuild the Morandi bridge

Italian architect and senator for life in the Italian Parliament Renzo Piano says that he can help to rebuild the Morandi bridge, after collapsed earlier this month in his home city of Genoa and resulted in the death of 43 people.

"I’ve already said I would be happy [to be involved] because that’s my mission,” Piano told The Observer. "I’m also a senator for life [in the Italian parliament] and so it is one of my duties to respond to such a disaster in some way."

Renzo Piano is ready to help rebuild the Morandi bridge

Renzo Piano. Image courtesy of italianicomenoi.it

The concrete Morandi Bridge, built in the 1960s, collapsed on Tuesday, 14th August during heavy rainfall and the middle part of the bridge's structural component, made up of pre-stressed concrete stays and trestles, fell down onto a railway line and a warehouse 45 meters below. The reason of the collapse has not yet been explained by the city officials. 

The Ponte Morandi Bridge was originally designed by Italian engineer Riccardo Morandi in 1967, and spanning 1,102 metres and supported by three reinforced concrete piers.

Renzo Piano is ready to help rebuild the Morandi bridge

The Ponte Morandi Bridge before the collapse. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

In an interview with Angela Giuffrida from The Observer, Piano talked about how the redesign of the bridge must look like, saying that "one thing for sure is that it must be beautiful – not in the sense of cosmetics but in conveying a message of truth and pride."

"It must be a place where people can recognise the tragedy in some way, while also providing a great entrance to the city. All this must be done without any sign of rhetoric – that would be the worst trap. But I think we will stay away [from that] and instead try to express real pride and values. That is what Genoa deserves.” 

He added: "Genoa is reluctant to spread emotion – it’s quite introspective and timid, but the strength is inside, like a retained energy. So it’s not a city that is screaming and shouting, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need help – and I will try to help."

Renzo Piano is ready to help rebuild the Morandi bridge

Image © Flavio Lo Scalzo/EPA/MAXPPP

Following the incident, the collapse of the Morandi Bridge has sparked wide criticism on Italian aging infrastructure. Since 1970, the bridge has undergone many renovation works and according to a report published by the Italian highways operator Autostade per l’Italia in 2011, "an intense structural decay" was detected on the bridge. 

"Morandi was a great engineer for sure, and he made something audacious, clever and brave but, of course, very fragile," said Piano. "Fragile in the sense of a beauty that is fragile – it’s not a criticism. The bridge demanded an extremely high level of attention during its lifespan."

Top image courtesy of Getty Images

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