The aim of the Porta del Parco project is to create a gateway to the 120 hectare seaside park that the Bagnoli district of Naples is constructing as part of a plan to transform the western zone of the city. The plan focuses on the area’s unique environmental qualities, enhancing its natural disposition for cultural and tourist activities.
The first part of the project to be completed is a series of tourist facilities, conceived as a large public space, open to the both the city and the park, and without any clear demarcation between its interior and exterior. It forms a pedestrian continuum, whose space interacts with the elements of industrial archaeology present in the area. A system of entrances and exits to the various activities present is created by large areas that gently slope the 26 feet (8 m) between the level of the city and the level of the future urban park.
The project has two functional epicentres: one dedicated to culture and leisure; the other to health and wellbeing, with a multifunctional complex (with a total area of over 430,500 square feet (40,000 sq.m.), with some 177,604 square feet (16,500 sq.m.) of basement car parking) that, besides two large plazas overlooking the Bay of Naples and its islands, comprises a wellness and spa centre, a swimming pool, a 75,347 square foot (7,000 sq.m.) fitness centre, multipurpose areas, a 300-seat auditorium, and a 11,840 square foot (1,100 sq.m.) exhibition space. There are also shops, coffee bars, and offices.
The same concept of no clear demarcations has also been applied to architecture, with the same dark grey ceramic finish applied to a large part of the vertical surfaces (that is, the building facades) and the horizontal surfaces. The material itself is a reference to the volcanic rock used in many of Naples’ public spaces. With the same objective, SunPower solar panels were integrated directly into the cladding of the southwest facing facades.
Marking off the two hubs that the complex revolves around – that is, culture and health, or mens et corpus, according to the Latin poet Juvenal – are the two steel and glass ‘lanterns’ of the entrance dome to the health centre and the auditorium, which use sound-absorbing melamine cylinders that simultaneously provide acoustic comfort and transparency.
The project addresses today’s need for sustainable development. The use of renewable energy sources prompted the architectural choice of positioning continuous monocrystalline photovoltaic panels on the large inclined surfaces facing south and south-west (15,284 sq.ft./1,420 sq.m. of new generation SunPower panels), which generates over 20 per cent of daily electricity needs, or approximately 256,000 Kwh/year. Thermal spring water will also be used in part for the swimming pools and spa centre. The glazed surfaces of the two lanterns are tinted. The glass panels used in the dome are separated by an air space to allow natural ventilation in the volume.
Location: Naples, Italy
Client: Società Bagnolifutura
Gross Floor Area: 40.000 m²
Cost of Construction: 44.200.000 Euros
Architects: ATI Servizi Integrati – IDI, Architetto Silvio d’Ascia
Preliminary Studies: MWH Works Management: ATI - Servizi Integrati - Ing. Salzano de Luna, IDI - Ing. Minucci
Contractors: Sled with Studio Graziani, Studio Lenzi, Ing. Majorano, Gi.Pi.Gi. Progetti
Structures: GTM Sud
Façades : Epitekh
Floor Finishes: Unimarbres, Mattout
Electrical Plants: Cegelec Sud-Est, Santerne
Furnishings : MioDino-Faram
Photo by: Barbara Jodice