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Project group:  

1. Paolo Galantini (Team Leader)

2. Marco Biondi

Place: Pisa

The design hypothesis is aimed at finding a solution for the level crossing located between the Aurelia state road and Viale delle Cascine, in Pisa.

The need is the consequence of a landscape project for the environmental enhancement of Viale delle Cascine and the harmonious insertion of a roundabout that replaces the current traffic light intersection with the State Road n.1 Aurelia.

For this same intersection, project hypotheses have also been elaborated both by the Municipality of Pisa, which is responsible for the State Road n.1 Aurelia as it is located within the urban territory, as indicated in the current Structural Plan, and by the Superintendency, the which is competent in landscape matters as regards the avenue.

The proposal put forward by the studio intends to overcome individual solutions, which enhance a specific problem without, however, arriving at a satisfactory design synthesis.

Analysis of proposals

Proposal of the Municipality of Pisa

The project drawn up by the Municipality responds with scruple and technical expertise to the current legislation on road infrastructures, at the same time creating a protected cycle-pedestrian path to allow citizens to reach the San Rossore Park, at the end of Viale delle Cascine, eliminating the pedestrian crossings of the state road, at this intersection.

The solution provided, technically flawless, however, suffers the consequences of this design approach: a well-conformed roundabout intersection has as a desired consequence the cancellation of any hierarchy of the competing road branches. This graphically evident aspect is clearly perceived by users driving a vehicle.

Proposal of the Superintendency of Pisa

This hypothesis arises from the cultural, historical and environmental vision. The realization of the Aurelia state road is subsequent to the realization of the Viale delle Cascine, which constitutes much more than a simple functional connection. This path outside the walls connects Piazza dei Miracoli and the San Rossore station to the Cascine Vecchie, a representative and service building of the historic Tenuta di San Rossore, which justifies its existence. Its environmental value has been underlined by the trees that accompany it and guide the user's view.

The Superintendency intends to safeguard this hierarchy, both historical and landscape, avoiding, as far as possible, any break in the development of the tree-lined plant. This choice is so strong that it induced the designer to misalign the intersection of the two road axes with respect to the historic avenue. The roundabout has been moved from its natural position and distorted in shape, making it lose much of its technical usefulness. The tree-lined avenue, moreover, remains for a stretch, a simple crowning of the cycle path.

Proposal by Studio Galantini

The design proposal is based on the conviction of the historical and environmental value of Viale delle Cascine, as underlined by the Superintendency, and on the need to ensure due safety at the road intersection.

  1. The roundabout is kept in its correct position with respect to the road axes, preserving the geometric parameters for correct technical sizing.

  2. The cycle-pedestrian path is buried, avoiding conspicuous overpasses, which are environmentally invasive.

  3. The roundabout undergoes an elliptical deformation which determines two different radii: the largest radius is in the direction of the avenue, formally accentuating its directional force.

  4. The larger space inside the roundabout makes it possible to open the underground pedestrian cycle path at the top and to introduce a stretch of trees in order to mend the green sign.

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