Architect Richard Rogers Completes Vernazza Restoration Study
On October 25, 2012 — one year after the floods and landslides that devastated Vernazza — Mayor Vincenzo Resasco has invited leading architect Richard Rogers (designer of London's Lloyd's Building and Millennium Dome) to present his feasibility study for the "regeneration of the village." Rogers will make his presentation at a press conference to be held in the Vernazza's Chiesa dei Frati.
Lord Richard Rogers has a deep understanding and involvement with Vernazza, having visited the town regularly for the past 50 years. In June, Rogers brought his friend Renzo Piano to Vernazza. Both are past winners of the Pritzker Prize (the Nobel of architecture). With Rogers' colleague Ernesto Bartolini, the three architects have studied Vernazza, speaking with residents and imagining a restored Vernazza, faithfully preserving its unique beauty and character as an authentic Italian coastal village.
Now, thanks to Rogers' generous donation of his personal time and talent to oversee the design and restoration of Vernazza's public spaces, Vernazza has a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Rogers' plan aims to rebuild the public spaces along the village's main axis, by creating an integral design theme with high quality materials, attractive landscaping, and simple street furniture and lighting.
A residents-only preview of the plan reportedly received rave reviews from locals in September. Public and private fundraising efforts are underway, led by Save Vernazza ONLUS and Per Vernazza Futura ONLUS, to meet the project's costs of 2.5 million euros.
Construction of the first phase should begin in January 2013 from Piazza Marconi, the main piazza beside the harbor, and from Fontana Vecchia, a popular meeting place for the locals.
The project is one that is chose to the architect's heart. Rogers' son, Bo, was a resident of Vernazza, and died from effects related to an epileptic seizure the day after last year's disaster.
Regarding Rogers' desire to assist the community, Gianni Viacava, the architect's friend and host in Vernazza, was quoted by The Times of London:
"It's a matter of emotion. It's not a question of business. It's a matter of helping. He is giving this to the town. It's all the small things that give the architectural touch. You see them and you don't see them."