La Porta del Parco is part of the biggest urban renewal project in Europe. It will prob­a­bly be the longest too, if it’s ever com­pleted, with chronic delays typ­i­cal of pol­i­tick­ing in Italy, but the less said…
The project con­cerns a 2,000,000 square metre area more or less cor­re­spond­ing to the Bag­noli quar­ter in the west­ern part of Naples, a mag­nif­i­cent part of the Bay with views sweep­ing from Vesu­vius to Capri, from the islet of Nisida to the Posil­lipo. A place of stun­ning nat­ural beauty, but for the heavy indus­try which devel­oped here from the mid 19th cen­tury on. Now the steel­works is no more, the land has been reclaimed, and the ambi­tious regen­er­a­tion plan known as Bag­no­lifu­tura is under way. Fal­ter­ing, but under way.
The core is an enor­mous urban park stretch­ing down to the sea with a voca­tion for tourism, leisure and cul­ture. There’ll be old indus­trial build­ings con­verted to new func­tions, muse­ums, sports and leisure facil­i­ties includ­ing a marina, hous­ing, shops, ser­vices and hotels. The mul­ti­pur­pose com­plex La Porta del Parco, as its name sug­gests, is intended as a link between the city and the new urban park.
Designed by Sil­vio d’Ascia, Naples-born archi­tect of inter­na­tional fame, it is a large pub­lic space on sev­eral lev­els with two main vol­umes in steel and glass, one the domed entrance to a 6,000 square metre spa area (not yet up and run­ning), the other an audi­to­rium seat­ing 300. The whole has a space-station look about it, with the audi­to­rium resem­bling a large, alien body rear­ing up from the depths of its piazza. The rest is, well, piazza, office space, open areas for exhi­bi­tions, and lots of park­ing under­neath.




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