Italy Wants to Turn Its Old Bridges into Inverted Skyscrapers

Southern Italy is dotted with hulking aqueducts that went out of service years ago. In an attempt to find a new use for the structures in lieu of tearing it down, the government held a competition. One of the winning designs will blow your mind.

This proposal to repurpose an abandoned concrete viaduct in Calabria could be described as a series of connected, inverted skyscrapers. Dreamt up by the always impressive team at Oxo Architecture, the plan not only rethinks the bridge structure but also the very idea of neighborhoods. The structure's location high up and near the ocean makes for incredible views—so why not build a new kind of community to enjoy the splendor.

"The idea is to turn it into something like a city within the bridge," said Oxo's Manal Rachdi told FastCo Exist. "I call it an inverted high-rise. In a high rise you come from downstairs and go up. In this, you have your car waiting for you upstairs, and you go maybe 150 feet down to get to your apartment."

Italy Wants to Turn Its Old Bridges into Inverted Skyscrapers

With ideas that seem straight out of a Jetsons episode, the "vertical village" includes houses with lawns, offices, schools, and a pedestrian walkway on top. And, because the Italian government asked for something sustainable, the design includes its own rainwater collection tank, water treatment plant, and geothermal power plant.

It's also just plain pretty to look at.

Italy Wants to Turn Its Old Bridges into Inverted Skyscrapers

The major problem with the design, however, is the fact that Italy doesn't have the money to pay for it. The location of the bridge also puts it right in the middle of Mafia territory, a detail that's proved problematic for infrastructure projects in the past. If only there were some sort of Kickstarter for cities… [FastCo Exist]

Italy Wants to Turn Its Old Bridges into Inverted Skyscrapers