Materplan Bologna Centrale station, Bologna

The arches of knowledge

The interventions for the new Bologna Station will transform the future of the city. The need to resolve issues of functionality, economic sustainability, identity and civic qualities in a single gesture requires an integrated and strategic approach in conceiving the station’s development program.

The area has an important dual role as a central part of the urban fabric and simultaneously a key node in the transportation network.

The project, therefore, offers an opportunity to resolve the historical caesura between the historic center and the Bolognina neighborhood by developing the area as if it were a new neighborhood, with its own streets, squares and urban functions, benefiting both the traveler and the local citizen.

The stitching up of the urban fabric also takes place through the creation of two boulevards, connected by longitudinal passages This mesh creates new urban blocks within the station that relate to the surrounding urban context.


Lot area 167,750 m2; receptive hub + residences 14,000 m2; office management 61,500 m2; public spaces 4,500 m2
Role Associate architect
Assignment Restricted competition
Team Unstudio design group (B. van Berkel with Nuno Almeida, Jan Schellhoff, Zhenfei Wang) with Frigerio Design Group (E. Frigerio with A. Capurro, E. Masala, P.Mantovani, G. Pisani).

Principal Architect: Unstudio
Facilities: ABT (Rob Nijsse)
Acoustics: Modulo Uno
Engineering: Politecnica Ingegneria e Architettura (ing. F. Federzoni, ing. F. Camorani)
Transportation: Systematica (F. Parolotto, N. Ranaudo)
Urban Strategy: DCU (P. Vaggione)
Green Strategy: Buro Happold – Bath UK (A. Keelin)

Slow Architecture

  • – Integrating mobility, commerce and culture.
  • Mending the urban fabric.

The station area is developed as an extension and reinterpretation of the portico.