Recupero del Porto Antico di Genova

Recupero del Porto Antico di Genova

The re-development of the Old Port of Genoa has its origin in the international celebration to commemorate the five hundred anniversary of Christopher Columbus's discovery of America. The project was based on a very simple philosophy: to realize works of permanent value to the city, making intervention that would be useful long after the end of the Celebrations, rediscovering the connection, cut off during the centuries, between the city and its port. This principle was realized both with restructuring and restoration of historical buildings and the construction of new buildings. Among the former we find the Magazzini del Cotone, built in the 19-century, the four Magazzini Doganali, built in the 17-century and the Millo; between the latter there are the Aquarium, the Harbour Master offices, the Bigo and Piazzale delle Feste. In 2001 the Biosphere was built to show a remarcable collection of ferns in a suitable habitat, in 2013 the Cetaceans Pavilion was opened, an extension of the Aquarium designed for the wellbeing of the animals.

Project data


1985 - 1988


1988 - 2001

Site area

116.500 m&sup

Total Floor Area

totale 90.000 m²

Existing buildings:


Magazzini del Cotone: gross floor area: 42.770 m² lenght 391 m, ground floor +3 floors+1 technical floor, height 21m


Conference center: 1458 seats


Millo: gross floor area 8570 m², 4 floors


Magazzini doganali: gross floor area 6.740 m², circa max 3 floors


Porta Siberia: net floor area 570 m², height 15,9 m max


New structures:


Aquarium: gross floor area 13.000 m², height 24,2 m max, 3 floors


Bigo and Piazza delle Feste: gross floor area 2.840 m²


Service spine: covered area 5.160 m², 3 floors


Mandraccio building: gross floor area 2840 m²


Cinema: gross floor area 6934 m², height 17,9 m max, 2 floors+1 technical floor, screen 1 284 seats, screens 2 e 3 124 seats, screen 4 106 seats, screen 5 115 seats, screen 6 253 seats, screen 7 436 seats


Biosfera: net floor area 215 m², height 15,2 m



City of Genoa + Porto Antico SpA


Renzo Piano Building Workshop, architects


Phase 1:Ove Arup & Partners (structural engineering for the Bigo); L.Mascia/D.Mascia, P.Costa, L.Lembo, V.Nascimbene, B.Ballerini, G.Malcangi, Sidercard, M.Testone, G.F.Visconti (other structures); Manens Intertecnica (building services); STED (cost consultant); D.Commins (acoustics); Scene (stage equipment); P.Castiglioni (lighting); M.Semino (supervisor of historic areas and buildings); Cambridge Seven Associates (aquarium consultant); Cetena (naval engineer); Origoni & Steiner (graphics); L. Moni (site supervision)

Phase 2: Ove Arup & Partners (services engineering and environmental studies for the Bolla); Rocca-Bacci & Associati, E.Lora (other building services); Polar Glassin System (structural engineering for the Bolla); B.Ballerini (other structures); STED, Austin Italia, Tekne (cost consultants); M.Gronda (naval engineer); P.Nalin (roads and associated infrastructure); Studio Galli (sewerage networks); P.Castiglioni (lighting); G.Marini, C.Manfreddo (fire prevention); P.Varratta (graphic design); Techint (consulting executive architect)



Curator for the Italian Pavilion exhibition: G.Macchi



Wind sculptures: S.Shingu



General contractor and Project Manager: Italimpianti