TAMassociati redesigns the future of Bellinzona


The huge, historic industrial complex in the heart of Bellinzona, the capital of Switzerland’s canton of Ticino, will soon be moved to the suburbs. This will leave a huge void in the city centre that needs to be reinvented.

A visionary team of urban planners at TAMassociati – the Italian design studio which also curated the Italian Pavilion at the 15th Biennale in Venice – and Franco Giorgetta Landscape Architect will take care of this.

The hallmarks of the project are sustainability, environmental and social resilience and the introduction of ‘living buildings’. The objective is also to create a future-proof site.

Green impulse

According to the project, everything will revolve around a large central park that will feature agricultural and woodland areas, and that will promote soft mobility. The park will be surrounded by public buildings – for administration, education and welfare purposes – vertical greenery, green roofs featuring roof farming, and an open residential system capable of accommodating innovative and hybrid housing (cohousing, senior cohousing, temporary + affordable housing, mixed use lofts etc.).

The fil rouge of the project is smart, green living, that aims at creating a symbiotic relationship between buildings and nature, between productivity and the community, stimulating the emergence of a circular economy made up of collaborative consumption and distributed energy production. The latest technologies available will be used to produce, monitor and increase the use of natural energy and water sources, in order to create a larger, zero-emission area over time.


The whole area has been designed by TAMassociati to give the best active response to climate vulnerability, building on the firm’s expertise achieved in some of the most inhospitable regions on the planet, and enhanced by the best technologies currently available.

Moreover, the master plan consists of a decades-long urban transformation in the name of resilience. As a matter of fact, it addresses changing situations (environmental, economic, social, productive, welfare and health related) and it includes phases of verification and a ‘plan B and C’, so as to face possible future scenarios.

Living buildings

Thanks to research which has been in progress over the last few years, the team at TAMassociati can work on new approaches to building, exploiting new generations of microbial technologies that regulate the creation of energy and the treatment of water and waste. Moreover, research is currently focusing on living and engineered building materials which are powered by clean energy, are capable of keeping the environment healthy, are resilient through microbial processes, and which influence the microbiome thus linking the design of buildings with human interaction.