The Vertical Village in Calabria, Italy by OFF, Tanguy Vermet, Philippe Rizzotti, Samuel Nageotte and Ramboll UK is a winning competition proposal for a ‘Solar Highway’, which re-used sections of the Salerno-Reggio Calabria highway soon to be decommissioned by the Italian Highways Authority.
The project of a viaduct is ambitious as well as audacious in both its program and architectural form. As they state at Oxo Architects, every consideration on viaduct redevelopment must start with particular attention to the largest sense of its context as well as its components, both visible and invisible. It is of course essential to consider the site potential in order to integrate the project within its landscape. The authors faced two opposite scenarios as the viaducts can be either adapted to integrate in the continuity of Calabria’s common society, or on the other hand, they can give a push of motivation for new possibilities that such an atypical redevelopment offers to the region, and developed the second option.
The winning architectural team proposed a re-appropriation of the viaducts into residential, leisure and health centers that take on a typology that rises out of the context and the goal of environmentally conscious development. The project was influenced by the primary observable characteristics of the site. The Calabria region has one of the most stable climates in the world and is located in a variety of natural habitats among human interventions.
The Vertical Village is designed as an autonomous community.