The new Ravenna Port Authority headquarters is the first of a series of operations in the urban conversion plan to use the deserted site of the port facilities at the end of the Canale Candiano, Ravenna. In the area to be developed the new building forms a necessary connecting hub between the old town and the port. Its institutional role as Port Authority makes this an important construction and a landmark for the whole waterfront district.
The building stands parallel to the Canale Candiano. It has a texturally solid imposing look, architecture making a public statement. The whole building relates directly with the canal which it is designed to overlook at all times. One distinctive feature is the plinth of light-coloured stone contrasting with the shell of exposed brickwork. The ground floor stands 1.5 m above street level, served by access ramps and stairs. Inside it opens into a kind of public square accessible from the street fronts on opposing sides and an opening out towards the canal. This court is the architectural fulcrum, a meeting of the ways, a tall, tall space in which a number of accentuated features converge: one such is the staircase which receives light from lofty windows and, as the flights proceed from landing to landing, blends a variety of materials: stone, steel and glass banister. This central square roofed in glass has all the feeling of a courtyard, ringed by the stages of this multi-storey building.
Three of its sides admit the public by a system of arcades and passages connecting by ramps and steps to the frontage of the building and varying the perspective for the eye.
Above its stone base runs a swathe of brickwork which combines a tribute to the town’s past building tradition and the creation of ventilated curtainwalling, insulated on the inner face and finished in plasterboard. Horizontal lines predominate on the outer façades of the building: ribbon windows run flush with the outer edge or are inset like slits of light.
Client: Ravenna Port Authority
Gross Floor Area: 2600 m2
Cost of Construction: 4.500.000 Euros
Architects: Sardellini Marasca Architetti – Anita Sardellini
Cost Control and Security: Paolo Marasca
Works Management: Anita Sardellini
Structural: Paolo Zoppi
Plant: Elleci Progetti
Terracotta Cladding: Il Palagio
Accessorised Mobile Walls: Methis
Photo by: © Pietro Savorelli
Sardellini Marasca Architetti
Anita Sardellini has worked as an architect since she graduated in Rome in 1970, focusing on the design of both public and private buildings. She was an Honorary Fellow at the Ascoli Piceno Faculty of Architecture.
In 1986 she established Studio Anita Sardellini. In 2006, Andrea Marasca and Giorgio Marasca joined as partners and the company reformed as Sardellini Marasca Architetti. Now with offices in Ancona, Paris and Braila (Romania), and with a team of architects and engineers, the firm works on projects ranging from new builds to restoration, landscape architecture and interior design. It also works with a network of local partners and consultants in Italy and Europe, and is involved in projects of every conceivable size.