Comune Di Ferrara Administration District Masterplan and Office Building

Ferrara, Italy

The City of Ferrara has a beautiful and vibrant historic City Centre surrounded by one of the best preserved renaissance walls in Italy forming a green belt around the city. However, other parts of Ferrara – often serving industrial functions – have been until recently neglected in terms of development. The task is to develop three quite different city districts; the areas of the former Mercato Ortofrutticolo / Darsena and Ex Amga next to the ancient wall, and the area of Palazzo degli Specchi, an unused office and sports district in the urban suburb of Via Beethoven.

Currently used for public parking, the area of the former Mercato Ortofrutticolo of Ferrara will be the main connection between the City Centre and the future recreational area at the waterfront on the river Po Volano. Our design approach for this site places emphasis on the varied demands of the residents, workforce and tourists alike while addressing the challenges that an urban environment presents in creating a high standard of living. The waterfront at the river has the unique potential to become a new inclusive city-wide sports and recreation centre, including services and docks for the marina, playgrounds, a new urban beach and a canoeing facility offering activities for every age and interest.

We propose an innovative and contemporary approach to urban living, one that looks to the future while remembering the past. A wide variety of building sizes and typologies in all three sites offer a diverse choice of living options – ranging from private courtyard blocks, to townhouses and contemporary city lofts. Each block is designed to take advantage of its unique situation within the development.

A highly sustainable design approach with carefully considered orientation and flexible layouts ensure an extraordinary degree of individual control and comfort and a plethora of amenities.

Our vision for this development is decisively optimistic, combining the positive aspects of various developments in different situations and at different densities, offering improved living/ working conditions, investing in and providing for the expansion of a socially orientated infrastructure.


Ferrara, Italy


Comune di Ferrara


Behnisch Architekten, Stuttgart


Boulevard Via Darsena / Rampari di San Paolo


Direct commission 2008