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Henning Larsen Unveils Vision for ‘Ponte Roma Quartier’

Bolzano’s Bold New Urban Transformation

Henning Larsen
Image Courtesy of © Henning Larsen

The picturesque city of Bolzano, nestled in the heart of the Italian Alps, is set to undergo a big transformation as Henning Larsen unveils their latest urban project aimed at restoring and revitalizing a part of the city’s industrial zone. The ambitious undertaking, bearing the name ‘Ponte Roma Quartier,’ exemplifies Bolzano’s dedication to embracing adaptive reuse, urban mining, and ecologically sustainable building practices.

Henning Larsen
Image Courtesy of © Henning Larsen

Reconnecting Bolzano’s Neighborhoods

Located in the South Tyrol region, ‘Ponte Roma Quartier’ is poised to bridge the gap between disconnected neighborhoods, creating an inviting, multi-generational, mixed-use neighborhood that seeks to address the city’s housing crisis. Henning Larsen’s urban concept revolves around a central park that permeates through the district, enhancing Bolzano’s historic walkable charm with improved pedestrian routes and cycling infrastructure.


The design maintains Bolzano’s distinctive urban fabric, characterized by charming alleys, intimate public plazas, and modest towers that reflect the city’s character. Varied building volumes will maximize scenic mountain views and house a range of amenities, including affordable residences, student accommodation, cafes, restaurants, offices, co-working spaces, a fabrication laboratory, and a nursery. Courtyard and rooftop spaces are designed for accessibility and ample sunlight, offering panoramic viewpoints and recreational areas that enhance the cityscape.

Henning Larsen
Image Courtesy of © Henning Larsen

A Solution to Bolzano’s Housing Shortage

Bolzano has grappled with a housing shortage, and ‘Ponte Roma Quartier’ is poised to address this issue head-on. The project is the result of a collaboration between developers SIGNA, Habitat, and a group of local entrepreneurs, who are committed to creating 1000 new homes, including affordable housing and accommodation for 500 students. The new residences will be just a few minutes by bike from the University of Bolzano in the historic city center, reinforcing the area’s accessibility and connectivity to the rest of the city.

The urban design integrates with the existing transport network, enhancing connections within the district and with the broader city. The result is a vibrant community that breathes new life into Bolzano and aims to attract the younger generation, providing them with compelling reasons to make the city their home.

Image Courtesy of © Henning Larsen

Preservation, Adaptive Reuse, and Sustainability

Speaking about the project, Global Design Principal Louis Becker stated, “Envisioning the Ponte Roma Quartier, we set out to create not just a new neighborhood, but a vibrant community that breathes new life into Bolzano and gives the young generation a compelling reason to call the city home. Prioritizing adaptive reuse and urban mining ensure the industrial heritage of the area will be celebrated and Bolzano’s playful and colorful urban fabric will be preserved.”

Two expansive open-concept industrial buildings will be transformed into public spaces featuring cafes, shops, eateries, common areas, and a climbing gym. Nearby buildings will be resourcefully repurposed, with reclaimed materials like bricks and cobblestones finding new life as flooring, and robust beams crafted into urban farming greenhouses. Sustainability is a cornerstone of the project, with the goal of creating a ‘sponge city’ that efficiently collects and recycles rainwater. Moreover, 30% of rooftops will feature solar panels designed to supply more than 50% of the district’s energy needs, signaling a strong commitment to renewable energy sources.

Image Courtesy of © Henning Larsen

Enhancing Biodiversity and Quality of Life

In addition to its housing solutions and commitment to heritage preservation, ‘Ponte Roma Quartier’ places a strong emphasis on enhancing biodiversity and improving the quality of life for residents. Green rooftops, parks, and urban farming initiatives will create natural spaces that contribute to the well-being of residents and the environment. The district is set to foster a comfortable microclimate, further enriching the urban landscape and reducing its environmental footprint.

The unveiling of ‘Ponte Roma Quartier’ signals a promising future for Bolzano, where a thoughtful blend of preservation, sustainability, and urban renewal promises to transform the city’s industrial past into a vibrant and inviting urban community.

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