Ugly new bridge over the Grand Canal vetoed by Rome
Venice has had a lucky escape. Last month the ministry of culture in Rome vetoed the proposed new bridge to replace the wooden Accademia bridge. The design, by Giovanna Mar and Alessandro Marata, architects of the very mediocre Venice airport, was for a low arch of steel, glass and stone with titanium-zinc panels. Its €6m cost was to be financed by large cubes with changing ads standing in the squares and alleys. There was no public consultation, the town council had quietly given the go-ahead and the Superintendency (the state office responsible for the monuments of Venice) had made no objection. But when the design was finally revealed in September, there was a flaring of public indignation, led by architect Antonio Foscari. The ministry has now said that the materials of the design are inappropriate because not traditional and the bridge should continue to be of wood. Work is necessary in any case because it is of soft wood and it deteriorates rapidly, even catching fire because cigarettes get thrown down its cracks into the accumulation of wood fragments and rubbish on the cast iron structure beneath.