Area Ex Michelin

Year: 2014

Location: Trento

Country: Italy

Owner Builder: Diverse Ownership

Contractor: Renzo Piano Building Workshop

Designer: Gruppo Adige Bitumi

Problem / Solution

The Quartiere delle Albere district, the site of a former Michelin factory, is an urban renewal project that reconnect the city to its natural context, which in Trento is defined by the nearby Adige River and Monte Bondone. This new district, for a long time physically separated from the city centre by the railway, is now home to different functions -houses, offices, shops, cultural spaces, conference and recreation areas- and has a big green area on the Adige River. The public park is developed on the areas overlying a series of railway underpasses and crossings Adigetto channel and require extreme lightness of intervention.


To solve this problem, a layer of expanded clay from 50 to 70 cm is laid over a concrete structure and its impermeable layer. A filtering layer is placed on top, separating it from the substrate above, the final growing soil. Expanded clay offers a very good draining action thanks to the dense network of voids between the granules, but at the same time retains moisture and is lightweight, strong, stable and durable.

Why expanded clay?

Expanded Clay is used for the lightening and drainage of the green areas, particularly over the old railway underpasses and the Adigetto, a little canal. The areas above the Adigetto duct as well as the covers of railway underpasses required the use of lightweight materials in order not to excessively overload the old structures, and to ensure adequate drainage capacity for subsequent reset to green.