copertina B

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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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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District heating plants

P1 April 2011

Alessandria, Italy Type: New construction Area: 5.500 sqm Completion: executive project Images: Archicura Two new district heating plants will arise in the Alessandria urban area. The teleheating system is going to be the main energy supply for the entire network. Both the plants, named North and South, even if located in different areas of the city, are going to be characterized by common architectural elements. As much as the complex techinical system inside, the project for the external areas is studied with extreme attention in order to guarantee an operational and harmonious final result. The plants are considered as the environment of production of energy, where technical process take place. For that reason, the buildings are treated in a rigorous way: volumes are neutral and clean, as container of complex process. These volumes will be partially covered with external, independent elements: curved petals with different grades will be the filter between the plants and the surrounding environment.

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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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I Castelli Restaurant

P5 August 2008

Alba, Italy Type: Expansion Area: 1.000 sqm Completion: 2013 Images: Archicura The project involves the construction of a new restaurant on the roof-terrace of the hotel “I Castelli” in Alba. The building on which we had to “insist” is a creation of the late '80s, whose volume and materiality represent a declaration with which, by their very nature, it was not so easy to talk with. In addition there were already several elements, not related to each other, emerged in different stages of life the hotel itself. First of all, some brick “towers”, compact and rigid, containing the outlets of all the hotel facilities (these elements are present from the first draft of the project), and secondly a metal structure, consisting of a large circular columns supporting curved truss lightened by holes (2005/2006), made both to cover the space, both for supporting of solar panels. Around these elements we had to create a fluid, functional, light and airy space, split in half between the areas for customers and those for kitchens and accessories. Despite the presence of “obstacles” the space should have result as free and open as possible. With these premises, was born a volume fully plugged under the existing roof. The volume, although formally one element is, in reality, composed by two “souls”: that of amusement, transparent and light that has been made with three long glass walls, and that of the preparation, which is represented with three walls completely covered with sheets of zinc-titanium. Internally, the two souls are divided by a corridor that starts from the existing stairwell and reaches up to the window and then opens directly onto the terrace. One of the key ideas of the project was to keep the ducts completely visible and then to create an entirely new and different element that, using the ducts curves and forms as a starting point, will almost completely detache from them so to attract the attention, hiding what there is above, but gently. Thus were born the blades: a soft sign that descends from the ceiling, which accompanies the ducts but it has gone away, taking the sinuous movements of the rows of the vineyards . So the public space is characterized by these smooth wooden curves hanging from the ceiling and that, after all, emphasize, in a diaphanous way, all the existing structure, completely painted in white, and the new ducst, also completely white. The visual and sensory experience is very special, and materials (wood on the ground and on the blades, white on structures and walls) soften and create a unique comfort throughout the whole room. The game of the alternation of curves and materials (wood and white paint) is perceived across the hall, to the point at which a volume of corten comes off and emerges. The corten, while having very different characteristics and while coating a body that does not have curves, however, does not intervene on the soft atmosphere of the environment. The volume contains the buffet furniture, ready to appear and disappear at every opportunity. The corten, from the main hall, turns in the hallway, making the headway to a series of playful elements that punctuate the space, both internally and externally. In the corridor, as a matter of fact, silhouettes of bottles of different shapes and sizes have been obtained in the very sheets of the corten covering. Backlit, playful and smiling. As well as playful and light-hearted is the corten on the terrace: from slab carved the corridor it turns into shape ... but what a shape! A number of men and bottles, straight and crooked, large and small decorating the metal grids necessary to define and cover the space: the “drunken”, light-hearted but not excessive, scattered in the open air, to gaze the view from the top! Particular attention was placed on lighting: in the room, thanks to long strips of LEDs, accompanies the blades accentuating the forms, while, when the LEDs are associated with the corten, they emphasize and enhance the non puckish character of objects.

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Egea Head Office

P30 July 2008

Alba (CN), Italy Type: Refurbishment Area: 1600 sqm Completion: 2010 Images: Pepe Fotografia

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Juice  Lingotto WB-5

Juice – Apple Premium Reseller

P20 January 2008

Torino, Italy Type: Interior design Area: 160 sqm Completion: 2013 Images: Archicura The renovation project did not involve any structural part of the building, as the space is inside the shopping mall of the Lingotto. The project can be defined as a deep work of space staging, both formally and chromatically rigorous, so as to obtain an exciting and comfortable space  for customers who want to get closer to the Apple platform, but at the same time, it conveys the values ​​of Apple: under clean and essential lines, the best that the digital world has to offer. The key idea is to create a space, in the front part, used as showroom behind which, hidden to public,  rooms reserved for professionals. Particular attention  has also been paid to lighting, both as regards to the creation of the atmosphere of the shop, both for the illumination of the different  Apple devices. The combined study  allowed the creation of an environment that is able to provide the best experience for customers as well as a comfortable and suitable working environment for the leaders themselves of the store.

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F.lli Mollo Branch

P25 April 2007

Alba (CN), Italy Type: New construction Completion: 2007 Images: Pepe Fotografia in collaboration with arch. Francesco Bermond Des Ambrois Despite its harmonious aspect, inside the building many different activities are performed. The front side of the building includes the main entrance for customers and staff, a wide exhibition area developed on two levels, and the administrative offices on the upper floor, connected by a ledge that looks onto the area dedicated to the public. At the back, along the side of the estate that looks onto the hill, the building hosts large warehouses. The numerous doors of the warehouses are wide, so as to allow access to large goods-vehicles. The technology used is brightly lit prefabricated structures. The walls are made of vertical insulated panels completed with finish for formwork bottom. The whole surface is characterized by a series of square artificial perspectives measuring around 150x150 cm. The wall is therefore made of  an alternation between full and empty spaces that allows for necessary openings without creating an effect of disorder or randomness. This network is decorated with different chromatic effects obtained with the painting of artificial perspectives. In front of the main entrances there are platforms made of  stainless steel and polycarbonate or crystal. The grids on the façades represent the countless categories of “drawers” that contain the different tools.

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Barberis Aldo Branch

P30 July 2004

Alba (CN), Italy Type: New construction Area: 4,370 sqm Completion: December 2004 Images: Pepe Fotografia in collaboration with arch. Francesco Bermond Des Ambrois Relocation of Barberis' business has been dictated by the need of moving from a flooded  area. The new site is in the territory of  Alba in Piedmont, which is already home to many factories. The area stretches between the artificial flood control channel of a new ravine, the Riddone, and a driveway, via Forcellini. The project well suits the existing plan, especially since it took into account the future realization of a new road system and paid careful attention to the new  road conditions of the area and the surrounding territory. The main factors that have dictated the choices made when planning the site are business dynamism and family tradition. The two functional areas are very different from one another and both have independent accesses and roles. One building hosts the administrative area with management offices, general services and guardians' accommodations, the other area is dedicated to production and storing of goods. The business's family tradition, that has witnessed many generations taking charge of the company one after the other, has inspired the conservation of the big timber roof truss that has been restored with new steel supports for the open canopies of the storage area, surrounded by closed warehouses. However, attention is inevitably driven towards the new management offices surrounded by a green area that separates them from the road. The main features of these four buildings, that develop around an almost familiar courtyard, are their different heights that go from one to two floors above ground level, their irregular shapes and outlines, as well as the use of innovative materials. The entrance shelter and the porch, that closes the small square, draw the main paths and connect the buildings with one another. The result communicates a sense of dynamism, also thanks to the diversity of chromatic choices.

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Sobrino Head Office

P25 April 2003

Alba (CN), Italy Type: Expansion and refurbishment Area: 1,950 sqm (expansion 150 sqm) Completion: 2003 Images: Pepe Fotografia The project planned a renovation and extension works on a commercial building for the sale of material used for construction purposes. The client wished to extend the areas dedicated to offices and the display of goods, as well as to draw more attention to the building material for sale. The proposed architectural development included a “ventilated” coating of the building hosting the offices through a zinc plated metal structure bearing the load of panels made of ecological and coloured fibre cement sheets. This coating has a definite slope towards the external side of the building and it covers a rear wall on the ground floor made of structural glazing that contains the offices and the main entrance to the internal show rooms. The lower section of the entrance turns over the left corner and the sequence of blue and light shades catches the eye of customers who reach the building from the street access.  

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Apple Reseller

P25 April 2001

Torino, Italy Type: Interior design Completion: 2006 Images: Archicura The project carried out for Apple Computer consisted of  internally restoring  a space dedicated to  computer hardware and software retailing. This area was aimed at meeting the business needs of products sales as well as  testing and presentation of new products to the public. The plan did not include a change of intended use of the space, or alterations in the number of rooms nor changes in the building's external façade, which is a historical site and therefore modifications are not allowed, except for  signs. More in detail, the plan included taking down some internal partitions, completely removing  and replacing  the wooden floor, cleaning and finishing touches to the vertical walls, a new project for the electrical system and a subsequent analysis of the atmosphere due to the disposition of lights. Particular attention was given to the general atmosphere of the area, that was the result of a choice of materials, furniture and design in line with customers' needs. Every decision was taken after following Apple's briefing sessions. The company, in fact, adopts a very personalized philosophy when it comes to the image of their retail outlets.  

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