A new future for Porta Nuova train station
The redevelopment project for Turin’s main train station, which was reopened in February 2009, responded to two specific criteria. The first was a large-scale modernisation and development project launched by Grandi Stazioni spa (controlled 60% by Ferrovie dello Stato and 40% by Eurostazioni spa, which is in turn owned by the Benetton Group’s holding company Edizione srl, Caltagirone Group member company Vianini Lavori spa, Pirelli & C. spa and Sncf Partecipations S. A. – Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer) to rehabilitate 13 of the most important Italian stations: Turin Porta Nuova (the third largest station in Italy with 192,000 daily transits), Bari, Bologna, Milan, Naples, Palermo Centrale, Florence Santa Maria Novella, Genoa Brignole and Genoa Piazza Principe, Rome Termini, Venice Mestre, Venice Santa Lucia and Verona Porta Nuova. The second concerned the intense local efforts to liberate Turin from its dreary image of a former one-company town. The city planning scheme developed by Gregotti Associati, which in 1995 involved a urban renewal programme centring on the rail line towards Milan, the gradual redevelopment of dozens of abandoned areas, the hosting of the 2006 Winter Olympics, the opening of the first line of a long-awaited underground rail system and numerous cultural and food and drink initiatives are just a few of the projects that testify to Turin’s determination to carve out a new role for itself at a national and international level.
The redevelopment of Porta Nuova began with the project by Marco Tamino (who between 2000 and 2004 drew up the preliminary and final plans) and continued with the executive project awarded to Italiana Costruzioni and led by Giuseppe Amaro with artistic consulting by Luca Moretto. At a cost of 45 million euro, the project mainly concerned the interior of the building, which was designed by Alessandro Mazzucchetti and Carlo Ceppi and was first opened in 1864. Located in the heart of the city between Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, Via Sacchi and Via Nizza, the identity of the building has been maintained by limiting the work on the external shell to cleaning and restoration of deteriorated sections. Inside, the building has been reorganised into two separate parts. The first is the station space, which has been reduced in overall size while continuing to handle rail traffic on the 20 existing tracks. The ticket office, waiting rooms and passenger spaces have been merged and modernised and moved closer to the platforms. Although this means they are further away from the main entrance, it facilitates access from the secondary entrances. The second part, which serves as a filter space between the atrium and the railway spaces, is a 15,000 square metre shopping centre open to the city, which has become the focus of the entire complex. Organised on two levels, with a new mezzanine floor protected by glass panelling overlooking the atrium, it redesigns distribution routes to make optimal use of the commercial spaces.
A range of materials have been used. In the existing areas, plasterwork, glazing, stone elements and stuccowork was restored and supplemented, while the new spaces feature the bright colours chosen by Moretto and the materials established by the Grandi Stazioni coordinated image. These include metal and glass on the balustrades, the vertical closures of the mezzanine floor above the atrium, the horizontal closures on the covered piazza between the distribution spaces, and the false ceilings, escalators and lifts; and porcelain (Pietra Serena colour, natural finish, from Caesar’s Ambienti collection) for the large paved area on the mezzanine floor.
Porta Nuova is now certainly improved, livelier and more modern, but it is still in a process of transformation. And its future depends above all on the new Porta Susa high-speed rail terminal which will open in 2012. Will it remain a station or become first and foremost a shopping centre?
Ceramiche Caesar, Ambienti series
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0,05%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): resistente
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): ≤140 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): ≥ 47 N/mm2 i
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant