In 1996 the North Italian port city of Genoa invited a team of internationally renowned architects including Rem Koolhaas, Manuel de Solà-Morales, Marcel Smetsand Bernardo Secchi to draw up a masterplan for that city. This phase was followed by a competition to redesign an ancient pier in its port. The brief for the Ponte Parodi once again brought a galaxy of big architectural names to Genoa amongst whom MVRDV, UN Studio, Foreign Office Architects, OMA, Arup Associates, David Chipperfield, Dominique Perrault and Bernard Tschumi. UN Studio (Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos) won the competition with a project for a threedimensional plaza which was to provide both port and city with a new heart.
This book presents and analyses the various projects and paints a picture of the most important designers working today. A number of critics simultaneously put the context of both design stages in perspective: can a city like Genoa take part in the race of increasing globalization and city branding? And what part can architects play in this debate? From economy, sociology, history, urbanism and architecture the whys and hows of a city with ambitions are examined.