An underpass to unite one town with two hearts
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An underpass to unite one town with two hearts

Mariani Architetti

An underpass to unite one town with two hearts
By Caterina Testa -
Margraf has participated in the project

Viale Ceccarini, a long thoroughfare in Riccione, joins two very different but complementary parts of this Italian town: its beach and tourist facilities to the east, and its hinterland and hills to the west. A rail line forms both a physical and symbolic divide between these two ways of experiencing the town. It also marks a similar divide between the two different faces of its most famous street, with shops and nightlife at one end, and a quiet residential zone at the other.

The project for the expansion of the underpass, which goes under the rail line and joins the two separate sections of Viale Ceccarini, was therefore significant not only in terms of the redevelopment itself but also in the way it symbolically restores the connection between the town’s two different hearts.

In Fabio Mariani Architetti’s vision, the bridge as a powerful symbol of union is mingled with the evocative power of underground passageways. By drawing on the religious, literary, and psychological connotations of underground spaces, the project has successfully transformed a previously anonymous, insignificant part of the town into a new landmark.

Walking, observing, and discovering are key to the project, with each encouraged by a pathway designed to arouse curiosity and even wonder. The entrances off Via dei Mille and Via delle Magnolie have been transformed into visually striking and appealing expressions of the overall design. Both the ramp and stairs feature marble surfaces, with a flamed anti-slip finish, underscored by a sinuous timber ribbon that gently follows their descent.

Surrounded by the warmth of timber and recessed lighting, the lower level opens into a large, circular space.

In reimagining the over ten thousand square feet of the 16 thousand square feet occupied by the underpass, the studio’s aim was to create a community work, a design that would draw in the entire town, including its craftspeople, artists, and members of its cultural scene, while enriching the daily life of every person who uses it.


Architect: Mariani Architetti
Project and artistic direction: Fabio Mariani
In collaboration with Silvia Biagini
Location: Riccione, Italy
Client: Municipality of Riccione
Contractor: Zambelli
Margraf: Stone paving
Photography by © Daniele Domenicali 

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