At Montalto di Castro in search of the future

Published on Friday, 22 February 2019

by Alessandro Di Tizio, National Media Relations, Communications Enel Italy

“A process where you learn not only how to plan from a blank sheet, but also how to rethink what has already been built in a holistic circular economy approach which integrates the redevelopment of the spaces with the local ecology”

– Giovanni Santamaria, associate professor at the New York Institute of Technology

The challenge set by NYIT for its students is similar to Enel Produzione’s call to investors, developers and planners in 2016, when the company launched an international “Project Competition.” This was open to anyone seeking to submit redevelopment proposals for the site based on the principles of sustainability and the circular economy

One of the proposals was from Studio Amati, an architectural and engineering company with a vast range of experience in the redevelopment and repurposing of urban settings, including the creation of tourist-oriented facilities. The studio’s entry was the “Marina della Tuscia” project. Enel Produzione has signed a letter of intent with Studio Amati Architetti to verify that the necessary conditions and requirements for a preliminary contract of sale for the entire site are all fulfilled. The project has already attracted the attention of a number of national and international investors, centres of entrepreneurial excellence and leading companies in the sectors that will be involved in redeveloping the site, from tourist facilities to shipbuilding, commerce and construction. 

In the proposal the seawater supply channel, which is needed for the plant to function correctly, will be adapted to become a link between the Tyrrhenian Sea and a lake within the site. The structure that was originally intended to host the nuclear plant in the first power station (but was never used) will become a commercial area, while the highest chimney, which served the steam turbines, will be transformed into an innovative space for screenings and artistic events. The proposal aims to convert spaces and structures once used to generate energy into a new innovative urban hub, leveraging Montalto di Castro’s strategic position to create Viterbo’s first nautical district. 

Montalto di Castro’s mayor, Sergio Caci, has followed the research and selection process for the project and is a member of the competition jury. For him, “This proposal is clear example of the circular economy, an authentic case of urban regeneration and transformation of an industrial area. We’re now working to transform this dream into reality.” 

And, talking of turning dreams into reality, while Enel Produzione and Studio Amati are now directing their efforts towards achieving this, the kids from NYIT have returned to New York, where they will present their theses in May. And who knows, in a world that’s placing increasing emphasis on sustainability and the redevelopment of decommissioned industrial areas, the experience of the tour of Futur-e sites could be one of the keys to the future for these young designers and architects of tomorrow.

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