Tunnel di Mestre, Mestre, Venice

Environmental and architectural design for Motorway Tunnel.

The di Mestre tunnel is an eco-redevelopment project which includes the environmental and architectural design of the new Mestre Motorway Tunnel in Venice. The design maximizes the reuse of excavated material to create new landscapes.

The competition's purpose

On March 2005 Anas Spa launched an international design competition known as `The Tunnel, The Bridge and Our History´consisting of three projects for the north, centre and south of Italy.

Arup was successful in the first stage of the competition “B”, being selected as one of three contenders for the project, encompassing environmental and architectural design for the approaches. As winners of the first stage, Arup was admitted to the second stage and invited to draw up a scheme design for their project.

Environmentally friendly

Bearing in mind the particular features of the surrounding environment, especially the flat expanses of the lagoon region and the human geography (combination of farm lands, manufacturing and housing estates, reclamation channels etc.), Arup felt that the design ought to reflect the nature of these areas not just in terms of minimising impact, but also to regenerate the area through this important new work: providing an eco-redevelopment of the entire complex, highlighting the symbolic and emotional elements of the work.

The proposed design maximises the reuse of excavated material to create new landscapes, partly for aesthetic purposes but also to reduce environmental impact.

The integration of the portals with the surrounding environment is based on three principal elements: rolling banks formed by the excavated material of the tunnel, new fresh water lakes and glass and timber shell structures at the tunnel entrances.