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Renzo Piano designs replacement for collapsed Genoa bridge

Since the Morandi tragedy, architect "can’t think of anything else but that bridge"

The Italian architect Renzo Piano has submitted to city officials in Genoa a new design for the Morandi motorway bridge which collapsed earlier this month killing 43 people. Piano met Giovanni Toti, the regional governor of Liguria, earlier this week to discuss the plan.

Afterwards, the Genoa-born architect told reporters: “I can’t think of anything else but that bridge. I have an idea of what the [new] bridge should look like but this is just the start... there is a moral commitment. The bridge must reflect the tragedy and how it has played out.” A spokeswoman for Piano declined to comment further.

Toti has posted details of the meeting on Twitter and Facebook, showing images of the two men discussing the plan in front of various maquettes and models. “Renzo Piano has donated his design for a beautiful bridge to Genoa. The city can quickly [rebuild] an indispensable, safe and outstanding work. People who have lost their lives [will be] honoured,” Toti says. It is unclear if a competition to design a new bridge will take place.

The Morandi bridge, built in the 1960s on the A10 motorway, connects Italy with the French border. The tragedy has sparked a national debate about governmental investment in the country’s infrastructure; Piano told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica that the structure has “a long history of maintenance and strict controls” but that what is lacking in Italy is a culture of effective site diagnosis before building begins.

The architect’s buildings include the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Whitney Museum in New York’s Meatpacking District and the Shard skyscraper in London. A survey of Renzo Piano’s work is due to open at the Royal Academy of Arts in London on 15 September. Renzo Piano: the Art of Making Buildings will run until 20 January 2019.