26M PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE UPON THE NECROPOLIS OF SOVANA
“The Etruscans? But the Etruscans never existed. You wonder where they came from, whether from the continent, Asia Minor, or America; you also speculate that they have always been here. Well, you are all right, and you are all wrong, that is to say, you have a problem that makes no sense. […]”
In Etruscan mythology, Vant is a female-winged demon associated with souls’ journey to the Underworld. In our world, The Vant is a pedestrian bridge that will carry, along its 26m span, visitors from all over the world to the Etruscan Necropoli of Sovana. “Mystery” is a word often used to define Etruscan civilization. Vanth’s concept starts from this point. Externally we imagined the bridge as an organic form like a limestone formation, a sign hanging between past and future. Internally we wanted to create a path like a climax: entering, walking, discovering, and finally revealing.
For this reason, the route is a partially covered ramp with an 8% inclination from the parking to the Necropolis entrance. This solution allows us to overcome the altimetry gap between arrival and attack point without heavy ground-moving work. The Vanth will be one of the longest bridges in Europe made entirely of composite materials.
We designed its resistant section through an algorithm that optimizes form with the structural lift. We conceived “the Vanth” like a traditional typology arc bridge. Composite materials solution (sandwich with a core in recycled PET foam among a layer of carbon and glass fiber) allows us to mold a section shape that works like a boat hull. Due to the dimension, we split the bridge span into two parts joined through stainless steel plates and carbon fiber plugs. We’ve wrapped the structure with super thin fiberglass skin that we modeled as a pattern reproducing the columbaria, a typical element of the Etruscan catacombs. We painted fiberglass components with a natural earth plaster that protects them from UV agents and integrates the bridge with the context.
The Vanth is a project that integrates design, innovative materials, and structural solutions. The Municipality of Sovana and the Landmarks Commission approved Vanth’s project, and the construction process will start soon.
LOCATION: SOVANA (GR), ITALY
CLIENT: MUNICIPALITY OF SOVANA