The City of Milan decided to redevelop and restore the Darsena, the city’s historic dock, for Expo Milano 2015. The project selected in a competition held in 2004 is by a group consisting of French architect Jean François Bodin with architects Edoardo Guazzoni, Paolo Rizzatto and Sandro Rossi.
The project encompassed three key aspects: creation of a navigable body of water, replacement of the old market with a new one, and transformation of Piazza XXIV Maggio into a big paved pedestrian zone.
On April 26 a big public celebration and plenty of events were held to inaugurate the whole area: the new Darsena, a dock with a walkway on either side paved in red brick, one along Via D'Annunzio and the other on the opposite site, along Via Gorizia; the new market between Via D'Annunzio, the new piazza and the water; the new Piazza XXIV Maggio, with important new features: traffic has been moved to the edges to make the piazza a pedestrian zone, LED lighting has been added, there is a new pavement that fits in with the city’s historic look, and a new fence has been built to protect a historic oak tree. The project also included reopening of the Ticinello canal, which was covered over in 1930, and restoration of two bridges: one with three arches dating back to the 16th century (Ponte delle Gabelle) and one with a single arch constructed in the 18th century.
Images courtesy of Mara Corradi
Images courtesy of Comune di Milano