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Competition: Porto Corallo, Sardinia

The Municipality of Villaputzu has launched an ideas contest to rethink Porto Corallo’s waterfront promenade in Sardinia, Italy (Deadline: 2 July)

The anonymous competition seeks innovative ideas to reconnect the picturesque Mediterranean tourist port, beach and waterfront with the historic settlement and surrounding countryside which is currently severed by a busy coastal road.

The €4 million project aims to upgrade Porto Corallo’s waterfront promenade while also creating new routes and public spaces intended to promote recreational and sporting activities. Proposals must protect local landscape environmental features and provide car parking and temporary facilities for public events.

Porto Corallo, Sardinia

Porto Corallo, Sardinia

Source: Image by Google Earth

Porto Corallo, Sardinia

According to the brief: ‘The overall objective is to enhance the Porto Corallo promenade; the stretch from the mouth of the Flumendosa to the beach of Porto Su Tramatzu. This would create a connection which, starting from the upgrading of the existing coastal road, would integrate it with a system of low-impact, low-speed routes (slow ways), thereby allowing for a more sustainable use of beaches and other areas of naturalistic, landscape and cultural interest.

‘This system of routes will include public equipped areas, in which both the inhabitants of the place and tourists will be able to enjoy playful, recreational and sporting activities in the open air. The new connection system will have to link up existing services, starting with the marina. However, at the same time it will have to be a framework on which to build any further services that may be implemented in the future.’

Porto Corallo is a small tourist resort on the Mediterranean Sea, around 45km north-east of the Sardinian capital Cagliari. The area features a marina, hotels, and a 15th-century tower designed to defend the coastline from attacking Saracens.

The latest project aims to regenerate Porto Corallo’s waterfront promenade by improving connections between the port, town and surrounding area by delivering new public facilities for visitors and local residents.

Submissions should include four A1-sized display boards along with an 8,000-character project description and cost estimates. Concepts must work towards an estimated €4 million project budget and include proposals for a €1.2 million ‘self-sufficient’ intervention which could be delivered as the first phase.

Judges include Paolo Sanjust and Ginevra Balletto from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Cagliari and Simone Ferreli from the Order of Architects of the Province of Cagliari.

The competition languages are English and Italian. The overall winner, due to be announced on 19 November, will receive an €10,000 prize. There will also be a second prize of €4,000 and third prize of €2,000.

How to apply


The deadline for submissions is midday local time, 2 July

Contact details

Sabrina Camboni
Area Tecnica
Comune di Vil
laputzu (CA)
Via L. da Vinci 09040

Tel: 070/997013

Visit the competition website for more information

Q&A with Daniele Madeddu

The Villaputzu city councillor discusses his ambitions for the contest

Daniele Madeddu

Daniele Madeddu

Daniele Madeddu

Why are your holding an open international competition to rethink the Porto Corallo promenade?

We decided to hold an open international competition because we think it to be the best way to approach the challenge of rethinking the Porto Corallo seafront promenade. It is also a very good way to promote architecture and architectural talent. We are keen for local, national and international participation, and a contest like this gives you the opportunity of selecting from a diverse set of high-quality proposals. A high-level jury will be able to select the best solution for the town.

What is your vision for how the promenade will be transformed?

The main goal is to enhance the fruition of the Porto Corallo seafront by improving the experience for both residents and tourists, from the mouth of the Flumendosa river to the beach of Porto Su Tramatzu. Proposed solutions should create a new seafront promenade marked by the rhythm of walking and by the alternation of rest and movement. Along the promenade, there should be green areas and areas equipped for open-air sports and fitness. Innovative connections, starting from the existing coastal road, should enhance a more sustainable use of the beaches and the natural environment nearby. The contest site is a strip of 2.7 km along the Mediterranean coast, and about 1/3 of it is included in a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) defined by Natura 2000: a network of nature protection areas in the territory of the European Union. So sustainable issues are a very important part of the brief.

What sort of architects and designers are you hoping will apply?

What we are looking for is diversity: innovative ideas by architects and designers from all over the world, with different backgrounds, cultures and sensibilities. We would love to have proposals from each of the five continents. This is also a good opportunity for smaller emerging practices and undiscovered talents to show to the world what they can do.

Which other design opportunities are on the horizon and how will the architects/designers be procured?

For a small town such as Villaputzu (fewer than 5,000 inhabitants), this competition is quite a big effort, both in financial terms and in human resources terms. Moreover, open international competitions are not often used in Sardinia, so there is not a strong know-how, and everything is difficult. But we had to choose this way because we want strong innovation and high quality. In this sense, this competition is a test: if we will get an innovative, high-quality and sustainable solution as a result, we will replicate this method in future commissions. We also hope that others will take us as a model.

Are there any other waterfront regeneration projects you have been impressed by?

We have been inspired by the Poetto waterfront regeneration project (by Studio GAIAS) that was completed in 2015. Poetto is the main and most symbolic beach of the city of Cagliari, and the regeneration project created a very nice environment for people, families and kids – a protected path reserved for pedestrians, runners and bikers and a green band with an ecofilter function, which separates the beach from the promenade and promotes the natural formation of the dunes. But we would like to have an even more innovative, high-quality and sustainable solution. That’s why we decided to hold an open international competition.

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