The redevelopment of Bardolino’s waterfront is the most significant achievement of a comprehensive process carried out, starting with a urban master plan that enabled the framing of each planned intervention – of which the public one of the lakefront represents the main part – at the urban scale. Within this framework, the enhancement related to tourism, the main economic resource of the place, is brought back to urban design, recognizing in the actions that mark it a great value of operational efficiency.
Collective spaces and facilities are the qualifying elements of urban identity: in the first place, the redesign of the waterfront, together with the enhancement of some centralities and the definition of a system of bicycle-pedestrian paths and connections with the more recent urban fabrics.
The redevelopment of Bardolino’s lakefront proposed a rewriting of the settled rules of the most significant collective space for the town overlooking Lake Garda. The forms and architectural devices adopted address the theme of the lakefront as a reappropriation of an equipped open space, opening and expanding the pedestrian path through the cantilevered section on the water, without unevenness or physical obstacles.
This has made it possible to remove the barrier between town and lake, created as a result of the interventions of the 1950s and 1960s, which in Bardolino, as in other Garda towns, had given the lakeside strip the prevalent function of vehicular access to the historic town. From a strictly distributive ambit, over time, the lakefront has increasingly risen to a meeting place dedicated to leisure and to a tourist enjoyment that becomes preponderant in the economy of the place.
The invention of the project is accomplished in the continuous modeling of the new section, which, by nullifying the unevenness between the street, flowerbed and sidewalk, orients in the direction of the lake.
The identification of the different spheres is entrusted to the change of surfaces: cubed porphyry in large, briskly disheveled backgrounds, washed gravel for the convex surfaces, and wooden slats for the partially cantilevered walkway over the artificial cliff. The writing of this new spatial rule includes a number of variations, such as the pedestrian walkway over the harbor that gives continuity to the walkway.
The large mushroom-shaped benches invent new experiences of use with the singularity of their form.
Green spaces incorporate pre-existing trees and are complemented by a rich greenery of shrubs and ornamental essences. These flowerbeds are made with circular metal profiles, an opportunity to offer a distinctive calling card in the spring months; this attention to care has won Bardolino the title of “most beautiful flowering municipality in Italy” and “happiest village in Italy” several times.
With the introduction of contemporary objects and artifacts (lighting, seating, wooden paving, and waterfront arrangement), the project reclaims an environmental and landscape context of the Lake Garda waterfront, achieving mediating results with the ancient fabric that pre-exists behind the waterfront.
Location: Lungolago Roma, Bardolino, 37011 Verona, Italy
Design year: 2006 – 2007
Year Completed: 2008