Viareggio Masterplan

Viareggio, Masterplan

Viareggio, formerly an important beach resort, is strategically located between Pisa and Florence in western Tuscany. In recent years, there has been a steady decline in the city, particularly along the Passeggiata (central promenade) area which runs parallel to the seafront. This is where most of the amenities are concentrated. Significant seasonal fluctuation in tourist trade and a lack of local investment have resulted in declining services and amenities. The council of Viareggio has recognised the need to redevelop both the town and the Passeggiata in order to compete commercially with other seaside resorts in the region. In 1998 they commissioned RRP to draw up a strategic masterplan for the Passeggiata in order to help regenerate the city.

Our proposal identifies some of the key assets of the city, such as the sea, the mountains and the fishing village, and how these elements can be re-discovered and organised to create new opportunities for activities throughout the year. We propose better movement linkages between Viareggio and the surrounding area. Vehicular circulation and parking around the Passeggiata is arranged to give priority to pedestrians and cyclists. New pedestrian routes are established linking the northern residential area and the sea through the central park. The new pedestrian routes also reconnect some of the key activities within the city, such as the market, the Town Hall, and the small fishing village, with the Passeggiata.

The core of the masterplan is the Passeggiata area which forms the spine of the city centre. Three existing piazzas along the Passeggiata are re-designed to strengthen their uses and their relationship with the sea. New buildings such as a conference complex, a leisure centre, an IMAX cinema, a sports centre and a cultural centre are proposed around the piazzas. These year-round activities can also help to regenerate the declining commercial businesses along the Passeggiata. New interventions such as sculpture courtyards, terrace cafés, mini-event piazzas and landscape features form a series of magnets providing places for activities and relaxation. Particular attention is given to creating comfortable environment in summer. The design also provides improved facilities for their key annual event, the Viareggio Carnival. A new pier with a viewing tower is proposed to strengthen marine activities and act a key focal point.

Location Viareggio, Italy
Type Masterplanning
Dates 1999 -
Client Comune di Viareggio
The Architect Richard Rogers Partnership
(RRP / Alessandro Rizzo Architetto) Laurie Abbott, Simon Catton, Dennis Ho, Tamiko Onozawa, Richard Rogers
Co-Architect Alessandro Rizzo Architetto
Landscape Architect Grant Associates
Quantity Surveyor Alessandro Rizzo Architetto
Structural Engineer Adamson Associates

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