New Michele e Pietro Ferrero Hospital – Verduno

P28 July 2020

Verduno (CN), Italy Project Management Team : Aymeric Zublena, from SCAU Architecture, Paris , team leader Ugo e Paolo Dellapiana from Archicura (Turin) Ugo Camerino (Venice) Structural project:  SI.ME.TE (Turin) Plant design: Ing. Giuseppe Forte (Guarene - CN) and STEAM s.r.l. (Padova)   Client: ASL ( Local Health Authority) CN2 Alba-Bra Type: New construction Completion: 2020 Surface: 110.000 sqm Images: Barbara Corsico The site is very wide (over 200,000 square metres) and stretches over the northern slope of the hill of Verduno. The idea behind the construction of the Alba-Bra Hospital is based on an innovative concept of a horizontal, rectangular block that breaks away from the  self contained units designed in previous years, and develops the principle of a mainly horizontal organization of space. In particular, this concept promotes intercommunication between wards, an easier adjustment to internal changes and better working conditions. All these improvements are also due to the fact that sunlight reaches all the areas of the building where personnel is stationed , which also leads to improved quality of services for patients. The general disposition of the Alba-Bra hospital and its functional organization are based on  three very characteristic elements which are :  the “rectangular Block”, “hospital gallery”and the “supported body”. The rectangular block is the most important part of the building. Its horizontal shape is in contrast with the important inclination of the ground. It is made of a series of horizontal slabs of different shapes that go from the 6th floor under the ground to the ground floor where are the medical-technical wards, the emergency rooms and the surgery hospitalization units. It is located at the sides of the “Hospital Gallery” which is the backbone of the building, a wide  reception area that runs through the building from north to south. The Hospital Gallery functions as access to most of the wards and starts from a central vertical pole (staircases, lifts,lifts for stretchers and for goods). This is a fundamental element in the hospital's organization and makes horizontal and vertical circuits easy to understand and paths easy to follow. Finally, the “Supported Body” is composed of two linear buildings that go from the second to the fifth floor above ground level. These are placed at the sides of the Gallery and host the specialized wards. The doctors' areas are located in the middle of the structure, closely connected to the in-patients wards. The architectural design of the internal spaces meets the needs of a hospital building and, at the same time, offers patients and staff a reassuring, bright and comfortable atmosphere.  Elements such as sunlight that penetrates the heart of the building, or the warm effect given by  the materials used, also play a role in reaching the aforementioned objective. The arrangement and atmosphere of the rooms have been carefully studied. A row of lower windows has been introduced to  allow patients who are confined to their beds to  get a good view of the landscape.

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New San Cassiano village

P8 December 2019

Alba (CN) Type: New construction Area: 140 sqm per house (4 units) Completion: 2018 Images: Barbara Corsico In San Cassiano, Alba, a new village was born. On a small land portion, four buildings have been carefully located to take advantage of all possible views. Even though the density of the neighborhood, the four houses look far. Each one is conceived by the sum of two simple volumes, equal to each other, but differently “tailored” according to different needs of each family /client. Each building consists of two white parallelepipeds, one placed on the other one orthogonally. Arranged over two floors, every house has a simple and functional internal distribution, where all the rooms overlook in different directions, filling up with light. The extremities of the volumes are characterized by large windows accentuated by deep splays: big “telescopes” looking at the surrounding landscape. The light that floods the rooms and the purity of the white volumes that seem suspended are essentials of the project.

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Sancassiano headquarters

P4 December 2019

Roddi (CN), Italy Type: Expansion Area:  3,204 sqm Completion: november 2015 Images: Barbara Corsico These are finishing works to the productive areas of a high tech kneading machines factory. The estate is composed of two separate buildings: the first hosts the company's new technical offices while the second includes the expanded factory. The first building is a two floor regular prism shaped construction covered by a metallic shell structure in glass steel. The structure is made partially transparent through the use of grates and perforated sheets through which the industrial technologies dealt with inside appear visible from the outside. The second building, through the entrance façade, is where the steel “machines” are created and developed, central to the representation of the idea behind the project unravelled in the new technological offices. The production warehouse's masonry veneer walls will be built with a series of vertical prefabricated panels that will meet the needs of thermal insulation and soundproofing. The creation of solids and voids will also allow direct light into internal spaces. The outer layer will be made of self-supporting resistant and non-reflecting metal panels, with different exposure angles in order to offer a different background shade of the façade. The openings for windows and entrance doors will be made on the prefabricated panels. A deep gash at the right angle of the façade line cuts through the offices' building and reaches the inside of the factory, bringing with it light and green, so as to finally free the historical workshops of their constant dryness.  A transparent and light glass bridge connects the two office buildings at an intermediate height. Photovoltaic panels will be installed on the roof of the production area. These will be parallel to the flat roof and therefore hidden from sight. Equipment will be placed on the roofing of the western side of the estate and therefore disguised by the metallic panels. To build the entire estate we have used technologies that reduce  heat loss and provide comfort to internal spaces. The entire new building will be turned into a productive machine: it will reflect light and heat, will be transparent and will communicate a sense of complexity, cleanness and efficiency of the structure and the machines produced by the company.  

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Cascina Adelaide – Expansion

P3 November 2015

Barolo (CN) Type: Expansion Completion: August 2016 Images: Fiorenzo Calosso It has been two years since the expansion of the Cascina Adelaide: a silent volume located among the soft foothills of Barolo, where tradition is guarded and where the grapes are transformed to brillant wine. By following the project criteria outlined in the past years, the intervention strngthen the external working areas through the creation of a shelter that protects the entrance to the wine cellar and the expansion of the existing porch, where the agricultural machines are stored. The project renews itself with the Company. Together with the interventions on the working areas, the image of the entire complex is enriched with the aim to balance and connect the different parts. In that singular vision, the decoration of the ancient farm is animated, the horizontal chromatic stripes vibrate sinuously, recalling the image of the gentle solpes of the surrounding hills. The new shelter at the entrance of the wine cellar is like a petal extending its cantilever body on the tiny front yard, inviting to the entrance. Here, a new wood frame declares the doorstep and announces the passage between the chaotic outside world and the wine cellar, where a silent metamorphosis happens, guarded underneath a soft layer of grass.

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P13 March 2013

Alba, Italy Type: Expansion Area: 192 sqm Completion: 2011 Images: Pepe Fotografia The building hosts administrative and technical offices that have replaced the prefabricated metal containers that were once placed in front of the industrial building housing printing presses. The building is constructed out of slabs of prefabricated reinforced concrete. The architectural meaning behind this new construction aims at representing the new technologies that modern printing techniques have attained through evolution in time: the shell structure contains three habitable levels, and defines working areas with opaque surfaces of zinc-titanium laminate coating  interspersed with glass cracks that allow sunlight to seep through. The zinc-titanium laminate coating is made up of ribbons of different heights that run along the outline of the external surface with constant flat seams. The colour of the coating is medium grey, but varies extensively according to the different tones of the sky that are reflected. The openings among the different shell shaped surfaces create distance between the glass panels, which are placed behind the different opaque shells. The glass windows that exceed the height of the various floors are fixed and kept without frames with the exception of the surfaces that can be opened, and which are necessary for direct ventilation. The glass surfaces are  made of safety layered volumes that offer a transparency effect, but which are made of low-emissivity glass, which  favours energy conservation.

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Trasfigurazione Church

P27 December 2011

Alba (CN), Italia Type: New construction Client: Diocese of Alba - Parrocchia Natività di Maria Ss Completion: 2009 Area church: 550 sqm Area parish house: 900 sqm Seats: 400 Immages: Pepe Fotografia Plan: Archicura The area on which the parish buildings stand stretche along an artificial canal into a long and narrow plot of land.  It is a fortunate coincidence that in order to reach the Church it is necessary  to cross this stream of water, which symbolizes Spiritual rebirth. The church, which resembles a tent or a hut, is situated on a green lawn. Similarly to a tent,  the church is made of big sheets covered with metallic layers of grey zinc- titanium alloy supported by an iron structure that cannot be seen either from outside nor from inside the church. Through the church and at the top of the building, the wind parts the sheets, thus letting light seep through narrow rifts that have been deliberately placed so as to diffuse light inside the tent without producing excessive dazzling effects. Artificial lighting replicates as much as possible the tone of natural daylight. The building that hosts the religious works and the rectory are both located in a very simple construction. In front of this building is a completely white porch which links the building to the church. Therefore, two main chromatic values characterize the complex: the glossy grey of the zinc-titanium alloy covering the church and the clear white of the church and rectory's vertical walls. The building's plan, develops along a lengthwise axis which cuts through the Baptistery, the Ambo  and the Altar. The space at the two ends of the building is left “open”. Here is where the main entrances are, symbolizing the temple's evangelic opening towards humanity along the “ path,  truth and life”. The internal walls of the church are plastered. The leaning surfaces of the roofing remind one of curtains that drop from the top, where natural and artificial light comes from. This effect is rendered by using  sheets of drywall supported by metal substructures. Inside the church, along the fragmentary sections on the main eastern side, are the liturgical “symbols”: the Baptistery, the Organ, the winter Chapel and the Blessed Sacrament Church. On the two western ends of the buildings are the two reconciliation rooms, separated from the rest of the space by vertical walls that reach the the tent-like structure's own walls. The table of the altar has a rectangular or square base (in the shape of an upside down pyramid) to symbolize that its roots are deep in the ground and its ambitions tend towards the infinite sky. The Liturgy of the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Word are celebrated on the presbytery, placed on a platform as to represent the dominant centre of the room. The winter church also looks onto the altar through a glass wall that separates it from the liturgy room. The baptistery is located under the triangular bell tower. Direct access to the baptistery is offered through the glass wall that looks onto the liturgy room, so as to ease access to the altar from the baptistery.  The baptismal font offers immersion to adults or normal pouring for baptizing infants. A space encircled by a leaning glass wall, in a more secluded side, hosts the winter chapel and the tabernacle of the Holy Sacrament. This can easily be accessed by the priest. During festivities  celebrations can be  followed through the glass door.

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New Banca Sella Headquarters

P2 April 2011

Biella, Italy Type: New construction Area: 9.500 sqm Completion: 2010 Images: Barbara Corsico in collaboration with arch. Francesco Bermond Des Ambrois Banca Sella's new Head Office is in the city of Biella, located between via Lamarmora and via Delleani, and stretches over an area of around 4,000 square metres. Construction began in 2005 and was completed in September 2010. The new building is the cornerstone of the general logistics rearrangement of the Biella sites that currently host the Group. In fact, the premises are close to the historical branch in via Italia 2 and the Chiavazza estate along via Corradino Sella. Therefore, the new building proves once again the strong connection Banca Sella has established within the region it was founded and developed. It represents an investment in terms of rationalization and recovery of productivity, which the Group has deemed of fundamental importance at this stage of its development. Inside the building it has been possible to use a space of 9,500 square metres as offices, client and sales areas and conference rooms. The new branch can hold up to 800 people. The general impression of the estate is based on the concepts of essence and sobriety. It is, in fact, a multifunctional container inspired by firmness and transparency, suitably matched by the choice of modern technologies used for fixtures such as doors and windows, in conjunction with more traditional materials as required by local government regulation. The external part of the building has a linear design: attention is not drawn to any particular details with the exception of the entrances, which make a clear and definite statement. The body of the construction is divided into two clear adjoining sections both on top of the porch floor on via Lamarmora. On this level we find an important pedestrian area, which aims at conveying the idea of a company which is aware of its customers' needs. It connects the city centre to new areas where there are parks and parking lots. The branch and customers' entrance look onto the pedestrian area, an impressive wide space, characterised by important metal shelters, the only particular details in a space that is altogether represented by geometrical rigour. These elements are coated with sheets of pre-patinated zinc-titanium alloy. Their light grey colour, reminiscent of velvet, changes slightly according to the colour of the sky. The outlook of both buildings are made of an essential grate of crystal and terracotta, which are equally elegant, with wide single glass windows placed within verandahs with glass parapets. In the central part of the main building there is the staff entrance adjacent to a private driveway and accessible through a rational vertical communicating axis. This second main entrance to the building, found in the centre of the biggest construction, allows people to gather at the centre of the estate so as to optimize internal routes and help control access, as well as provide a sheltered path to the driveway. As far as internal arrangement of space is concerned, both blocks can easily be adapted to different needs. In fact, except for the four blocks that host the staircases and their relative services, the rest of the wide areas, which amount to 80 metres in length by 18 metres in width, can be used in various ways. The building thus fits perfectly in its urban surroundings, where it conveys a sense of security, communication and transparency.

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Banca Sella Corporate University

P25 April 2010

Biella, Italy Type: Refurbishment Area:  22.000 sqm Completion: 2010 Images: Barbara Corsico in collaboration with arch. Francesco Bermond Des Ambrois The wool mill is situated on the banks of  the Cervo river, in the city of Biella. This building is one of the numerous reminders of the region's industrial history. It is therefore an important site from a  historical point of view, but also from the point of view of the history of industrialization in general.  It is in fact a series of buildings and constructions that  bear witness to the evolution of industrial development through time, from the irrigation ditch and the windmill,  to the paper factory built in 1548, to its final destination as a building dedicated to the textile industry. The original premises that hosted Quintino Sella's residency, the paper factory and the wool mill (spinning, weaving and dyeing) were built between 1700 and the 1930's and are still standing. This makes the estate that hosted the Sella wool mills an interesting site from the point of view of industrial archaeology. In fact it allows one to draw a pretty accurate picture of the passage from  artisanal handicraft to industrial production, in terms of both manufacturing processes and the evolution of construction typologies. Throughout the years, the existing buildings have hosted different businesses: the Sella Foundation, which preserves and promotes the memories found in the sources and documents kept by the Sella family, the offices of Banca Sella's data centre, as well as Banca Sella's Corporate University. Renovation works in the offices of the Data Centre began in 2007 and have included important structural interventions as well as reinforcement of vaults, intermediate floors and flat roofs. External landings and building fronts have been restored and the deteriorated plaster has been renovated. The new offices have been rearranged according to an open space philosophy. Therefore, meeting rooms, relax areas and services have been set out. It has also been necessary to re-define vertical links by introducing a new staircase inside the main building. In 2007 we also started on work to preserve and restore the nineteenth century buildings that once hosted the weaving and dyeing operations in order to create spaces for Banca Sella's Corporate University. The external load-bearing walls of these buildings are made of coated solid bricks, wooden or metal shed shingles covered with Marseillaise patterned terracotta roof tiles. They were all in serious decay. The partially collapsed shingles and the lack of window and door frames had led to considerable rising damp, while the floor had been taken over by spontaneous vegetation. It has therefore been necessary to renovate the entire estate by reinforcing the vertical and horizontal structures, completely remaking the roof using techniques that would produce a similar effect to the pre-existing structure.  Steel door and window frames  similar to the original ones but compliant with current regulations concerning safety and energy conservation, have been installed.  Preservation and restoration works have also included the construction of partitions to create spaces such as a hall and reception, staircases and lift areas, classrooms, relax areas, and a multi-purpose room. Finishing works have included coating with plaster that would suit the historical character of the walls, painting, and new floor laying works. The buildings that once hosted the boiler have now been adapted to contain the electricity and water plants. Works have also been carried out in the adjacent Factory's Garden that was in an extremely neglected condition. The new square has been turned into parking lots that can be used as permanent or temporary parking spaces. The garden has been rearranged along a path that allows visitors to visit in comfort. The aim has been to turn this space into an area where the employees of the Banca Sella Group and those attending courses can relax and gather. The garden renewal project has been inspired by the concept of space divided into “rooms”, meaning areas of mostly defined and regular shapes, each one of which has a specific function.  

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Cascina Adelaide

P15 June 2009

Barolo (CN) Type: Expansion Area:  1,472 sqm Completion: June 2004 Images: Fiorenzo Calosso, Pepe Fotografia In the area of Barolo grapevines grow on the low hills of the sun drenched Langhe, offering grapes  “the song of the earth”. A new, secret construction stands under a green layer, as soft as the surrounding landscape, in the midst of  mysterious obscurity. This new cellar takes shape on a patch of land between the sky and the vineyards, following the natural trends of metamorphosis that turns grapes into bright wine. The project was carried out on a small valley floor between a local road and the small river Rio della Fava in Barolo. Careful research and attention to the surrounding hills has inspired the design of a building totally covered with grass.  The estate has been built at about 5.50 metres  below the level of the existing farm. The new and quiet construction gently approaches the town of Barolo with the strength of a new and contemporary architectural style. The green layer moves away from the existing building and descends to the ground, gently  linking the new construction with the level of the existing countryside. This creates a small farmyard in the shape of an arc carved on the hill. This arrangement allows for the building to stretch towards the valley, similarly to the countless hill sides of the Langhe area. The building therefore looks like an additional hillside to  a  landscape of precious rows of vines. In other words, it does not alter its surroundings and rather adds “inner” values through the essential metamorphosis that turns grapes into wine. The hypogeal building suggests the idea of a stretched and slender hillside. It is totally under ground and covered with a layer of water-proof polyolefin, coated with a green roof at least 40 cm thick, on top of the numerous drainage, insulation and protective layers. On the last green layer, vegetation was grown using special established systems. This level has been joined to the surrounding grounds that stretch towards  the small river so as to define and mould, with soft linking shapes, the cellar's roof, laying on the river without touching its banks that are naturally kept green. The small hillside rises and thus creates  a gash that moves up and opens onto the western side along the road and gives way to a wide rift with split edges, thus revealing the porch in front of the entrance and the small round courtyard.  This element catches the attention of those who come from the valley, showing a transparent wall which opens onto the accesses to the building for operators, finished and unfinished goods and mechanical equipment. The journey continues towards the inside of the building  where grapes are turned into wine, to then come out onto the same porch from which it has started.  “Fermentation and transformation of the fruit has led the covering ground to rise” thus affecting the surrounding landscape. The highest part of the estate starts from an arc shaped pocket of land that looks onto the hill and the land on which the precious grapes grow. This is the spot where the winery is best represented and the wine best tasted. The room, accessible from the farmyard level of the pre-existing Adelaide farm, through wide glass surfaces, looks onto the opposite hill and, below, onto the rooms for wine  aging, winemaking and bottling. The load bearing structure is covered with a layer of green vegetation kept flourishing through an  automatic irrigation system which allows for an evergreen blanket. The system includes  continuous levels of water containers placed only 30 cm below the ground, which evaporate and thus supply the root system of the green blanket with water, while at the same time stabilizes temperatures inside the building. The building's bays (mesh 8.00x 8.00 m) have basement windows that  appear on the green blanket above in order to let air flow through each one of them. The back of the hypogeal building reduces the internal height (5.5m) to a minimum of 2 metres, where services are found.

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Visiera House

P4 May 2009

Loc. Altavilla, Alba (CN), Italy Type: New construction Area: 136 sqm Completion: 2009 Images: Barbara Corsico The architectural plan of the building has been able to convey a feeling of serene life plunged into a perfectly respected surrounding, without having to renounce its strong and individual character. The initial project was based on an existing construction. The idea behind it was to adapt the shape of the building to new technological needs and tastes while at the same time keeping its shape and disposition of volumes. The result has been the reduction of sections in the lower parts of the building in order to maximize living spaces. Despite legal and structural limitations, the completely open plan ground floor ( kitchen and dining room are both in one space) and the ribbon windows allow for a brightly lit living area. This floor is connected to the level above by a single flight open staircase with a very light metal structure, bound by a single transparent wall. The latter has avoided an excessive narrowing of the space and the risk of dimming natural sunlight. The small parallelepiped space, very squared in shape, has been completed by placing a “lid” to cover and protect the body of the building as well as enhance the rigor of architectural choices. At the same time, however, it tends towards the soft open countryside which clashes with the building's architecture. The two terraces on the eastern side of the estate also look onto this landscape. They have been conceived as clean and geometrical, but, like the rest of the building, tend towards the surrounding landscape. Therefore, the plan embodies the concept of finding one's place without imposing one's presence. The project has tried to best interpret the clients' needs by offering a complete and functional architectural plan, reducing spaces to the bare minimum, but at the same time creating wide and bright areas that can freely  communicate with external spaces, the Langhe countryside region, thus establishing an immediate and almost magical contact with nature.  

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