Presenting the next phase of the new district designed by the American starchitect: 45 apartments near the beach and an 85-meter-tall building
Corriere del Veneto / October 19, 2022
by Francesco Bottazzo, translated from the original Italian –
“No other client has ever worked together with Richard Meier for this long,” Peter Reichegger, CEO of Riv Group, said with a smile. It’s been almost twenty years since the South Tyrolean entrepreneur behind the Venetian seaside resort began to imagine the new Jesolo district together with the New York architect. "It is a unique design district in Italy and in the world" he underscored. It is no coincidence that they called it Jesolo Lido Design District. They started in 2007 with the first group of buildings (the Pool Houses), surrounded by an expansive green space, which the following year won the Dedalo Minosse international prize for architecture. Fifteen years later, the building’s lines remain unmistakably characteristic of Meier’s firm, with large windows to emphasize the natural light in buildings of a signature white. In the years between, the firm built 74 luxurious beachfront residences (The Beach Houses), the Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa Jesolo (the first five-star hotel in Jesolo), and The Summer Houses (two contemporary structures with 99 apartments, spas, gyms and 3,000 square meters of sand, dunes and green areas that preserve the original habitat).
New apartments and luxury
Reichegger is now ready to double his investment of 150 million euros. Next week, the construction of another 45 apartments will begin (divided into two structures connected by a bridge in which, needless to say, light is the protagonist). Called the Beach Residences, the project features 10 floors of luxury apartments extending toward the beach. This is the prelude to what will be the centerpiece of the Design District. The Richard Meier Tower, rising to a height of 85 meters, will be a composition of transparent spaces, responsive to the changing light throughout the day, made of natural and refined materials.
Yesterday’s dramatic presentation of the project in Jesolo should have included the starchitect (who turned 88 on 10 October). However, due to a slight indisposition, he had to stay in the hotel. It was a shame, because the CEO of Riv Group also had a surprise in store: the naming of the square in front of the tower that is destined to become the symbol of the new Jesolo Lido skyline. "Richard was enthusiastic about this long-planned visit. He couldn't wait to be here to present his project,” explained Reichegger. “But unfortunately these three weeks of travel to Europe made themselves felt. Nothing serious, but to protect him, the doctors preferred for him to rest.”
A new neighborhood by 2026
The goal is to complete the expansion of the project (new residences and a hotel are planned to be managed by Falkensteiner) by 2026, effectively creating a new seven-hectare Jesolo design district. “It is important to highlight how this complex was created to fit perfectly into the Jesolo context,” said Stefan Scheiber-Loeis, Associate Principal at Meier Partners. “Our idea is to give priority above all to the view of the sea, to the link with water that characterizes Jesolo. Another element of the project’s identity is the green, with the maritime pines that are the distinctive sign of the coast. Finally, we emphasize the open areas, which are fundamental in a project like this. The architecture creates the space, and the space belongs to the community." The intent was not to disrupt the spaces but to improve them, creating a link between the new buildings, the surrounding space and the beach. Scheiber-Loeis still remembers when as a child he went to Jesolo with his family and immediately asked his parents where to find the sea. The last of the colonies that used to crowd the site, the Santa Margherita, will be removed to make way for the Beach Residences, so the new front designed by Meier Partners stands out.
From 7 to 12 thousand euros per square meter
Eventually 2,500 people will be able to live in the new Jesolo district, using the gardens and the beach. "Our estimates are that only 50 percent will use the seafront," explains Reichegger. The cost ranges from seven to twelve thousand euros per square meter, depending on the location and height. And to think that the first apartments, fifteen years ago, were on sale for 300 thousand euros. Now the cost of a two-room apartment is almost double. Previously, the owners were mainly Italians, but since the pandemic and the lockdown, Austrians, Germans, Poles, and wealthy Eastern European families occupy half of the accommodations. The absence from yesterday’s event of the new municipal administration may have signaled disagreement with other megaprojects. But as Reichegger said, "We did not just put up a building and flee. We redeveloped a large area of Jesolo through an urban plan. We want to give the city structures that can be enjoyed by the area’s residents, and among other benefits have generated some 12 million euros through job creation and taxes."
To read the article in the original Italian click here