Centro Direzionale

The Centro Direzionale, is the new Naples Civic Center, a large area of new, tall buildings visible from almost any point in Naples or from the bay. The idea, itself, goes back to 1964. It was to be the first attempt in Naples at real skyscraper technology. The Centro Direzionale follows the 1982 design of Japanese architect, Kenzo Tange, whose work includes the urban plan for Tokyo in 1960, the design for the grounds of the Tokyo Olympics of 1964, and, in Italy, the designs for the Bologne Civic Center and Fair Grounds in 1975.

The Centro Direzionale is more than one square kilometer in the Poggioreale section of the city near the central train station. The Center is in what has traditionally been the worst part of Naples and, in fact, is adjacent to the Poggioreale prison (not to be confused with the Sicilian town of the same name), the largest prison in southern Italy. The layout of the Centro Direzionale is impressive. There are 18 "islands" of buildings, with high-rises up to 100 meters. There are office buildings as well as residential flats. The Center is meant to accommodate most, if not all, of the administrative offices of the city of Naples, such as the new Hall of Justice, already open. It is, essentially, a small city: a pedestrian zone at ground level with shops, restaurants and hotels. There is an underground parking facility with escalators running up into the middle of the large pedestrian concourse, an area adorned with fountains, benches, greenery and a church. The Centro Direzionale has its own underground train station (Circumvesuviana).

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