Pantelleria Waterfront


The duality in this seafront determined the motto for our proposal – Switch on / Switch off – a way of interpreting the new program for public spaces in this place, with due knowledge of and deep respect for what was already there.

From the beginning the goal of our proposal was to create a relatio ship between the port and the urban centre, conceiving a systematization of the public spaces as suited as possible to the management of the peak periods and with respect for the road and pedestrian traffic.

Planning a scenario regulated only by the touristic usufruct would signify an inadequate consideration of the daily logic of appropriation, according to which the inhabitants of Pantelleria inhabit these places for the greater part of the year. On the other hand, basing the philosophy of rehabilitation of the seafront only on this daily use would equally represent a risk, as it would multiply problems of management of the human influx and tourist services that are today one of the main economic arteries of the island.

Thus, in conceptual terms, this new condition could be projected only to the point of creating flexible and mutable spaces, capable of offering quality of life to all existing conditions while avoiding as far as possible the distortion of the typical and genuine characteristics of these places, and for that very reason, charged with significance for the local inhabitants.

Switch on / Switch off arose as a way of articulating a series of mediations between the two conditions of this place. In reality the concept worked as a device that could be switched on in the summer period and switched off during the rest of the year. A mechanism that would also be a complex management scheme for the seafront promenade at three levels: viability, use of public spaces and lighting.

During the low season, the Switch off – device disconnected or default situation – the project planned to reduce the traffic flow in certain port access routes, as well as the regulation of the parking places along these roads. With regard to public spaces, the regulation of traffic would result in their consolidation as places for meeting and socializing, homogeneous places for suitable for resting.

During summer the Switch on – device connected or situation of high frequency – the proposal allowed for the total closure of some of the busiest hubs, creating protected areas for bathing activities totally divorced from the traffic that currently dominates them.

Finally, for regular situations of this high season or for extraordinary events, we define a new condition – the Extra hour – during which the great influx of pedestrian would, in itself, justify the port area being totally given over to the flow of pedestrians.

The Switch on / Switch off device became a sort of soft machine – a package of mountable and dismountable solutions allowing infinite permutations, independent of each other.

We continue to believe that the strong point of this proposal was its adaptability. The proposal would preserve and improve the life of the port of Pantelleria, both with regard to the customs of its local inhabitants, and to satisfying the needs of its visitors at busy times.

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