Saline Joniche | Grupo Aranea + AutonomeForme

“The proposal restores the flooded prairie landscape, over imposing it to an obsolete industrial layer adapted to bring life.”


Competition: First Prize “Concorso per la Riqualificazione del Waterfront di Saline Joniche e la realizzazione di un Parco Naturale e Antropico, Provincia di Reggio Calabria, 2012“

Area: 170 hectares, 8km of coast
Developer: Reggio Calabria´s Government
Budget: 110.000.000 Euros
Chief Architecs: Francisco Leiva Ivorra (Grupo Aranea), Marco Scarpinato (AutonomeForme)

Architects: Martín López Robles, Elena Velasco Román, Lucia Pierro
Agronomist and landscape Engineer: Marta García Chico

Environmental Biologist: Anna Pont Solbes

Colaborators: Aleksandra Duczmal, Andrés Llopis Pérez, Roberto Carrasco Cañizares, Beatriz Segura Ros, Paul Cetnarski, José Javier Botí Sarrió, Ana Ybarra Arias, Beata Targosz (Architecture Students)


Fanny Bouquerel / Amunì, European Programs Expert
Nadia Spallitta, Lawyer, Urbanistic Laws Expert
Valentina Guagenti, Cost Analyst Expert
Alberto Ferrari, Engineer, Environmental Impact Expert


(Both the text and images are property of Grupo Aranea and the hand drawings have been made by Francisco Leiva)


The age of non controlled exploitation is over. Saline Joniche was for too long obsessed with productivity, without evaluating the risks of this framework. The time for a healthy environmental balance against imposed actions has arrived. It´s time to bet for a rich renewed ecosystem, a compelling ecosystem capable of positioning itself as a worldwide reference of ecological coexistence. An ecosystem that will appeal a user worth of him, capable of giving true productivity to this place.

The proposal restores the freshwater prairie landscape, superimposing it to the obsolete industrial layer as a life support.

The goal is the restoration of natural balance; to turn back the human abuse. During this long period of time, manmade footprints must be kept as they are, kept in memories, as a reminder for the future generations of the dangers of this kind of foolish attitudes. A shape shifting ecosystem is born, where the man must live in harmony, adapting himself to the landscape. *
Saline Joniche is a 8 km long coastal area  , at the southern border of Italy in the Messina´s strait front to Etna´s volcano.

Saline Joniche is a rich landscape and evironmental area, who suffered continuous degradations through industrial activities, abandoned nowadays.

The will of the project’s developer: The Reggio´s Calabria Government , is to transform Saline Joniche in a worldwide reference of Industrial areas recoveries in a sustainable context.

We seek to recover the lost connections erased by the continuous failed industrial developments, taking advantage of the footprints left behind.

We propose a flooded landscape, mouth of multiple natural watercourses. An ecosystem filled with flora and fauna, which focuses on migrating birds. This process will fulfill itself in a natural manner, and the resulting landscape will evolve adding new species of vegetation and wildlife. As natural life, humans must be capable of reaching a balanced state with the new medium.

The greater than 100000 square meters “Officine di Grandi riparazioni”, where all the southern Italy´s trains are repaired, will transforms itself into a polluted soil recycling plant, an enormous nursery  plant for reforestation, a renewal energies plant, in some labs…A Studies and a Museum center of which testifies  the process of recovering damaged áreas.

We look forward to reunite ourselves with our past managing the ruin. A series of flooded landscapes filled with old fashioned industrial´s structures will be used as a new home for the wildlife and greenery. This is the perfect framework  for  corporate headquarters of brands concerned with nature and sustainability.

The Project broadens the thoughts around the concept of ruin, connecting two important landmarks: Pentadattilo, an abandoned village from late 1800, victim of an earthquake and the “Laura C”, a shipwreck near the coast, sinked during the Second World War. Two unexpected examples of how human actions can develop rich ecosystems…

*Extracts from project’s brief