Underground engineering

Underground car park in Parma

Retaining works along the perimeter
Owner/client GESPAR S.p.A.
Type of service Detailed Design
Location Parma
Period 2010 - 2011

The design concerns the construction of a new building, with two underground floors used as a car park and four out-of-ground floors, which shall be erected in the city center of Parma next to the Court Palace, in place of the current unsurfaced car park in Strada del Conservatorio.

This area has an irregular shape, and it is marked by the Strada del Conservatorio on one side and by buildings on the other sides, in particular by the former Cassa di Risparmio, the District Court, the Court Palace and the building named 'Avvocati'.

The new construction shall include 163 parking places, 150 of which on two underground levels, and a square of 2000 square meters to be used as a green area, a small part of which shall be used for parking places reserved to the Court Palace.

The excavations shall be supported by reinforced concrete walls with thickness 60/80 cm, balanced by tension rods and metal struts.


163 parking places (150 in underground).


2'000 square meters of offices (3 storey).


2'000 square meters of green area.

The grounds involved are generally heterogeneous, consisting mainly of gravel-sand deposits alternated with cohesive deposits. From a hydrogeological perspective, they are characterized by the presence of overlaid water tables, partially or totally segregated by various clayey layers; in this context, in order to ensure tightness of the work, the walls shall be fitted out with male/female joints between successive segments.

From a structural perspective, the work consists of two units divided by a structural joint and accomplished in two different steps:

The 1st Step includes the works supporting the excavations between Strada del Conservatorio, the 'Avvocati' palace, the 'District Court' palace and the buildings of the former Cassa di Risparmio, where the walls are provisionally balanced by steels structures, anchors and tension rods; in the final step, the balancing action shall be performed by the inner structures.

The 2nd Step concerns the works supporting the 'Avvocati' palace and the Court Palace, where the construction between the walls shall be erected 'top-down', with the concrete slab being cast before starting excavation.

A very critical aspect has been the possible interference of the walls with the adjacent buildings, as well as the risk of causing damages to the existing structures due to vibrations and the strain generated in the ground during excavation.