Civic Centre, Cornigliano, Genoa, Italy - Photo © Anna Positano, Gaia Cambiaggi - Studio Campo
Civic Centre, Cornigliano, Genoa, Italy - Photo © Anna Positano, Gaia Cambiaggi - Studio Campo

Client: Società per Cornigliano
Architectural design: Dodi Moss, SAB
Landscape design: Dodi Moss, Egizia Gasparini, Valentina Dallaturca, Ettore Zauli
Structure: Vincenzo Puja (SAB) and Mauro Sassu, Mario Lucio Puppio (Dodi Moss)
Mechanical and electrical systems: Marco Adriani (SAB) and Andrea Guerra, Claudio Gianì (Dodi Moss)
BIM: Silvia Bongi (SAB) and Valentina Dallaturca, Jacopo Battistini, Mattia Leonardi (Dodi Moss)
Geology: Marcello Brancucci (Dodi Moss)
Polycarbonate cladding: Dott. Gallina
Ventilated façades: Knauf
Casements: Schüco
Lights: Pan International
EPS wall systems: W4H
Outdoor pavements: Italcementi
Linoleum floors: Forbo
Photo credits: Anna Positano, Gaia Cambiaggi, Studio Campo

A territory full of contrasts and lacking in public spaces, Cornigliano, to the west of Genoa, over the Polcevera River, is at the foot of a system of hills sloping down towards the Ligurian Sea. During the last century, it went through a phase of frenetic residential construction of low quality, the installation of western Europe’s largest steel mill (Italsider), transformation into a working class area, followed by a reduction of population, following the downsizing of an industrial facility by then being decommissioned. Today is slowly starting to change, also thanks to a recovery plan for the abandoned industrial areas.

This is the context pertaining to the recently completed regeneration of the old Dufour candy factory, carried out by the architects Dodi Moss and SAB. The designers have redeveloped the original structure, conserving traces of its industrial past while reorganizing the spaces, boosting accessibility and wellbeing through the demolition of several existing volumes and the construction of a new one, giving rise to a public space with social and recreational functions.

This civic center is now an open place for gatherings and the social life of the district, offering a fitness club, a library, a bar, spaces for dancing and playing billiards, multipurpose rooms for recreational and cultural initiatives, and covered outdoor zones. The design of the outdoor spaces has reformulated accessways and the general usability of the area. Priority has been assigned to social dynamics, but also to connections between the interiors of the new building and those recovered from the existing structure.

Areas for spending time, shady spaces, pedestrian zones protected from traffic and a covered loggia form a corollary to the new two-story facility. The first floor is in reinforced concrete, with full portions predominating; the second is in steel, including the roof, with walls in polycarbonate and glass, making light the key characteristic of the design.