Ausonia-Savoia bathhouse


Special projects

The Ausonia-Savoia seaside bathing area is, for Trieste, a symbolical place, akin to a monument. Built in the 1930’s, it represented a vanguard both of architecture and of technology. The complex was built entirely in reinforced concrete, using precast on-site techniques, and is suspended above the sea on a grid of pilings. The subtlety of the structure’s lines are still testimony to the finesse and daring of its engineers. The concept of a bathing area complex that offers its clients not only sun and sea but also a range of services such as the restaurant, bars, swimming and water polo classes, massages and in general healthcare services is currently still relevant. Commissioned by the Consorzio Cooperativo Ausonia - licensee of the complex which is actually harbor (public) property - refurbishment and re-usage works were planned and directed for the complex. When the contract for the license of the site was drawn up, less than 20% of the surface area was serviceable (the site extends to approximately 5000 sq. m). Various problems challenged this project: architectural (it is a listed building of historical and cultural heritage), structural, and finally construction site health and safety management. The “demolition and reconstruction” option was rejected due to economic and legal restrictions, it is a listed building. After redrawing the original structural plans and assessing the state of conservation by means of a chemical and physical analysis procedure, the construction technology was identified to preserve the existing structures, thus guaranteeing the future integrity of the complex with the loads from the new use (bars open to public) and at the same time limit future maintenance costs. Starting from the general overall project, in accordance with the licensee’s general management plans, the single lots were identified. Not only was it necessary to carry out building works over only one winter season - and thus with the worst climatic conditions - but it was also necessary, for various reasons, to work on individual lots over different years. Thanks to the professional relationship with the licensee in this highly complex project, we have acquired significant experience in planning and directing works in the marine environment and more generally in restoration of reinforced concrete structures in particularly unforgiving environments.