Lido San Domenico is a small bathing establishment on Lake Lugano in the Castagnola district, located at the beginning of the Sentiero dell’Olivo. The entrance to the lido overlooks a small tree-lined square, the lido and the small square are located at a lower level than the path (-1.10 m). Before the intervention they were connected by a ramp with a slope of 19% and a staircase. The view of the lake was obscured by existing vegetation.

The project proposes a redevelopment of the external space and the arrangement of accessibility for people with disabilities, transforming the entire space into “disability friendly”.

The access square to the lido has been redesigned through a play of colours, materials and curves. The new access is via a ramp with a 6% gradient, the ramp opens towards the lake landscape and directs the visitor’s gaze towards various glimpses and views. On the side of the ramp a system of steps was built in Calcare di Moltrasio (Sasso di Caprino) on which it is possible to sit and admire the landscape.

In the center of the square there is a large flowerbed with a sinuous shape inside which three different trees are planted, a Fraxinus ornus, a Morus alba ‘Fruitless’ and a Phoenix canariensis. In the shade of the trees, “spots” of different essences are planted, one of Mediterranean perennials (Perovskia atripicifolia, Phlomis fruticosa, Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidecote Blue’, Rosmarinus officinalis, Cistus salviifolius, Myrtus communis ‘Tarentin’, Sedum telephium), one of Agapanthus africanus and one of Thulbagia violacea. All the flooring is made with reused stone from the deposit of the City of Lugano, laid in stripes with alternating colours.

The square leads to Lido San Domenico, the project envisages the continuation of the paving of the square also inside the lido, with the construction of a path paved in precious stone that connects the entrance to the lido, the dehors, the changing rooms, the outdoor showers, up to the descent into the water system for people with disabilities, which takes place with the aid of a stair lift and a hydraulic lift. The descent system to the lake is located at the end of the lido, the existing quay covered with wooden planks was paved with large slabs of recycled stone on which the hydraulic lift was installed. The stairs that connect the level of the lido to that of the quay were paved with porphyry cubes from Cuasso al Monte and equipped with a stair lift.

Two bathrooms for the disabled have been created inside the changing rooms. The existing external showers have been modified to be usable by disabled users, the tub that served as a shower tray has been demolished and replaced by coplanar stone flooring, and a new water point with seat has also been created. The black and white tile covering that decorates the wall was rebuilt with a similar design to the pre-existing one.

The outdoor area was located at a higher level than that of the entrance and covered with concrete tiles, with the new intervention the existing flooring was removed and the level of foot traffic lowered bringing it to the level of the entrance, the new flooring is was created by integrating the existing tables.

Project details

Design: Enrico Sassi Architetto
Project Location: Castagnola, Lugano, Switzerland
Typology: Waterfront, public space
Built: 2020-2023
Client: Lugano Municipality – DSU Spazi Pubblici
Construction supervision: Enrico Sassi Architetto, DSU Spazi Pubblici
Collaborator: Irene Lucca
Civil engineer: Ingegneri Pedrazzini Guidotti Sagl
Accessibility consultancy: Centro di Competenza Design for All – Inclusione Andicap Ticino
Hazardous substances assessment: Econs SA
Construction company: LS Pavimentazioni SA
Paving works: LS Pavimentazioni SA
Flooring material (reuse): Lugano Municipality – DSU Scalpellini
Removal of harmful substances: Sitaf SA
Electrician: 2M Elettro-impianti Sagl
Plumber: Idrosolution Sagl
Hydraulic lift supply: Nosag AG
Stair lift supply: Neolab
Blacksmith: Bernasconi Renato SA
Door carpenter: Falegnameria Forni SA
Stage carpenter: CS Legnami SA
Painter: Cap Color Sagl
Lido greening: Associazione Fioriselvatici – Christian Pellanda
Square greening: Lugano Municipality – DSU Verde Pubblico
Irrigation system: L’Irrigazione Sagl
Helicopter flight transport: Eliticino Tarmac SA
Photo credits: © Marcelo Villada Ortiz, Viola Barberis – Atelier Mattei (Inclusione Andicap Ticino)

Enrico Sassi Architetto

Enrico Sassi Architetto

Graduated from the IUAV University of Venice (1993). He carries out professional and teaching activities. Former coordinator of the “Laboratorio Ticino” USI Academy of Architecture, Mendrisio. Former professor of “Urban Design” at the Academy of Architecture in Mendrisio; was editor of the Swiss architecture and urban planning magazine “archi”, official organ of SIA, OTIA. Since 2012 he has been the owner of the architecture studio “enrico sassi architetto sagl” in Lugano.