The preliminaries in the construction works of Genoa's former Hennebique grain silos kick off after 50 years in complete disuse. This morning the details of the redevelopment programme of Hennebique, strategically located along the old port waterfront, were unveiled on-site by the Governor of the Liguria Region Giovanni Toti, the Mayor of Genoa Marco Bucci, the Port Authority President Paolo Emilio Signorini, the CEO of Vitali Group Cristian Vitali and the Architect Maurizio Tosi, Director of Starching Milan.
A masterpiece of Art Deco industrial architecture dating from the turn of the 20th century, the Hennebique building will be resurrected and brought back to life by Vitali SpA, a leader in the real estate and infrastructure sector. Bolstered by a 100 million-euro investment plan, the over 40 thousand square metres will be reconverted into a mixed-use hub combining hotel, housing, offices and cruise services. Technological innovation, the deployment of state-of-the-art construction machinery and long-standing experience are the key drivers behind Vitali's management of the construction works with minimal environmental impact in compliance with the guiding principles in sustainability and circular economy.
Nestled in the heart of the old town, the new Hennebique represents the final step in the completion of the large-scale redevelopment of the urban waterfront, integrating the Old Port with the cruise and recreational hub underway. The building is set to capitalise upon its strategic position, drawing large numbers of residents, tourists and cruise passengers alike to the site.
The start of the construction works coincide with a new era in the life of the sleeping giant in Italy's leading port. Dating from 1899 to 1901, the Hennebique grain silos was the first building in Italy to have been constructed in reinforced-concrete, as patented by the engineer Francois Hennebique, and over the years it became a landmark of Genoa's waterfront. A striking example of Art Deco architecture, but conceived as an industrial and functional machine, the Hennebique grain silos was part of a technological and infrastructure process which revolutionised Genoa at the turn of the 20th century. The silos were designed to "swallow" and bundle in sacks industrial quantities of grain and offered a direct on-site connection to two railway tracks for overland distribution of the cargo. A high-performance facility which will be resurrected along the urban waterfront in the 21st century to cater for Genoa's requirements today, with the conservation of the striking Art Deco architectural elements and the monumental distinguishing feature of the structure. An important contribution to the sustainable development of urban tourism and providing an impressive showcase for the City of Genoa.
"I wish to convey publicly my genuine thanks to all the authorities involved in the redevelopment project who made the commencement of construction works possible, starting from the President of the Liguria Region Giovanni Toti and the Mayor of Genoa and Commissioner Marco Bucci, and naturally to Vitali Group. In fact, the successful collaboration between the local establishment and the private companies has been instrumental in identifying the optimal solutions to the logistic management of the construction site, to ensure minimal impact and disruption to daily port operations," declared Paolo Emilio Signorini, President of the Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority. "Today Genoa has embarked upon a phase of great change and upheaval. Major infrastructure projects are underway, crucial to the development of the port and the growth of the local economy, which will have an impact upon the daily life in the city, as we complete the regeneration of this prime site along the urban waterfront."
"We are proud to have been given the opportunity to play a leading role in this key strategic project for the city of Genoa. An ambitious plan," comments the CEO of Vitali Spa, Cristian Vitali, "which will showcase Genoa as a new modern city in which innovation thrives. Genoa has always been a model for the implementation of sizeable infrastructure investment programmes and the far-reaching redevelopment plan of Hennebique is set to become a landmark. We have developed a project which combines perfectly the historic legacy of the building with the latest technological innovations. A genuinely smart and intelligent machine, with a striking fully renovated façade which will enrich the city-port's breathtaking skyline."
Download Presentation of the Hennebique - Executive Summary >