Renovation of existing 1920s palazzo, Luxury Hotel
Completed July 2013, 87 rooms Area 9000m2 Budget 15 m euro
Client Montemartini S.r.l
Palazzo Montemartini built in 1908 is located opposite the Termini railway station in Rome and next to the National Archaeological Museum, once the site the ancient Roman Baths of Diocletian. Part of the early Roman city wall (Mura Serlianae) sits in the entry garden facing the station. Both the site and the building have inspired many of the themes explored in this project. They also brought with them a number of challenges: a conservation order on all the exteriors and some of the interiors. The structure and the original internal arrangement were not immediately suitable to the programme of a hotel. This meant the design on the 87 guests rooms in seven or eight “types” which were then adapted to the existing building one by one. Nevertheless, the difficulties combined with the character of the building and particularly its siting provide a continual stimulus channelled into the three main themes developed in the design.
Stone The Roman baths and the Serlian wall surrounding the building suggested the use of stone as a floor finish and a material for not only bathrooms but many public spaces as well. In recent years the technology of working stone; computer controlled cutting, lamination, glues, stain-proof and waterproofing treatments, have combined to make it a most versatile material.
Roman Baths- Water The Baths of Diocletian inspired the presence of water in the spaces for the entire hotel. From the swimming pool on the roof terrace to fountains and channels within the building with a natural conclusion in the spa in the lower ground floor. Water also invades some spaces where it would not normally be present. For example, the private pools in some of the rooms, or the table-fountains in the main lounge.
Bespoke Furnishing To offset a possible excess of ancient Roman references and given the spatial constraints of many rooms, meant that many items of fixed furnishing had to be designed as one-off pieces in a more contemporary vein. It was a short step to go on and design many items of loose furniture: beds, armchairs, tables, cupboards and bathrooms accessories.
New Masterplan, Landscape Plan and working drawings for Tender Documentation completed April 2012
Holiday village consisting of 310 units, sports facilities, restaurants, staff accommodation, on a beautiful site on the northern coast of Sicily. The 50 year old Club Med is to be upgraded to 4star+ accommodation integrating the new buildings with the outstanding beauty of the site. We were responsible for the master plan, architectural design and detailed design. Planning permission has been obtained. Interior Design: Atelier Sophie Jacqmin
Site works to start in 2014
Guest Rooms: 310; Site Area : 160,000m2, Built Area: 30,000m2, Budget: 50m euro
Client :Club Méditerranée, Italia Turismo
Club Mediterranée has been present on the promontory of Santa Lucia in Cefalù for over sixty years with a holiday village which has now come to the end of its natural life. Club Med’s intention in commissioning a new design for the site goes beyond a simple overhaul of the existing buildings (for the most part straw huts) in an ambitious plan to upgrade the whole site to reach a wealthier and more demanding clientèle, fewer in number with higher standard accommodation. The site is of outstanding natural beauty and in a great location near Cefalù, one of Sicily’s more beautiful historic towns. Over the years the settlement has grown with the addition and modification of facilities as well as the integration of new planting not always in keeping with the character of the place.
Since the original founding of the resort, a number of regional and national regulations, have been passed with the objective of safeguarding the natural beauty of the coastline and preventing speculative eyesores. From the outset Club Med has observed the restriction of not building anything visible from the town of Cefalù. For the most part the construction visible from the sea is in any case of a very low profile and temporary nature in accordance with Club Med’s founding philosophy.
The project aims to do this by maintaining the existing landscape -particularly species which are unique to the site, and by adopting local building traditions and materials.
The programmatic requirements nevertheless make quite heavy demands on the site in terms of the amount of building work planned. Raising the accommodation standard from camping in straw huts to 4star+ requires more overall built volume. We have sought to make this necessity compatible with the natural features of the site.
Dry Stone Wall Guest Rooms
The new project aims specifically to reinforce the site’s original character particularly in the landscaping and planting as the dominant visible theme. The rooms and public spaces are designed to meet the standards of a modern hotel while the atmosphere and walkways are more in line with the resort rather than a large seaside hotel.
The 566 existing straw huts will be replaced by 110 larger and more comfortable bungalows located towards the sea and 200 guest rooms using a more permanent construction technique.
The design of these blocks of rooms are derived from the pattern of contour lines over the whole site which become the traces of the dry-stone wall terracing. The walls curve in a sinusoidal pattern creating interior and exterior spaces which make up the guest rooms while adapting themselves to the slope of the terrain.
The dry stone wall has traditionally been used in this area for terracing- in this case we have made it inhabitable.
The reception building introduces the main architectural theme to the arriving guests. It is a large-scale version of the the guest rooms with a curving dry-stone wall which encloses the main reception, administration offices and baggage store. It also encloses, in an open walled garden, one on the existing trees seen behind the main reception desk. The wall itself varies in construction from solid to “open-grain” to allow natural light to filter in to the main spaces.
The bungalows are designed to maintain the temporary nature of the construction of the huts they replace, but to reduce the visual impact to a minimum and improve the level of comfort in keeping with a modern hotel.
A pre-fabricated system has been adopted which exploits the capacities of wood technology and industrial production to the full.
The Service Area/Sports deck
Under the sports deck and its clouds of netting are the staff lodgings, plant rooms, storage and admin offices arranged in a long low building with gardens cut out of the continuous slab around which the rooms are arranged. The building is deliberately low so as leave the prominence of the existing 17th century Palazzo as the highest landmark
The pool as the daytime focus of the resort has been completely redesigned complete with new bar and poolside deck. The bar is made up a lightweight wooden structure for a system of retractable sunshades under which a series of movable objects are located. Together these elements mediate the poolside area with the open piazza in front of the Palazzo and the amphitheatre.
Below the cantilevered pool deck the existing fitness centre has been renovated.
The existing amphitheatre has been restored and the buildings around the stage area demolished in order to give a clear sight-line from the piazza, at the top of the slope towards the sea horizon.
Restaurants and Spa
These are set into an existing buildings. Towards the east overlooks the sea and the magnificent view of the town of Cefalù. The two levels of the restaurants and the spa are articulated around two courtyards establishing a sequence of open spaces either shaded (veranda, pergola, trees), or sunny (terrace) or enclosed (restaurants, spa).
Overlooking the private beach, a hardstand previously used as an open-air discoteque has been converted to a swimming pool area. Since it falls within the temporary buiding area it has been designed as demountable with temporary decking.
Architectural design of building volume, from initial concept phase (winner of competition held by SEA), planning permission, detailed design of exterior cladding systems and site supervision. Interiors of entrance and lobby spaces.
Completed October 2010, 436 Guest Rooms; Area 50.000 m2; Budget 64m euro
We were commissioned to design the exteriors of this large hotel in front of Malpensa International Airport as a result of a competition winning entry for the overall design of the building. Despite its size (420m long, 64m wide, 21m high) the building was conceived as a design object. Partly because Milan is Italy’s design capital, and partly because we were interested in investigating the technical and architectural properties of a skin or membrane to be perceived dynamically as façade not only on its four sides but also the roof- visible from the access road to the airport complex.The hotel sits on a huge existing car park, which covers a railway that passes underground linking the airport to the city centre.
The hotel comprises 436 rooms, a conference centre and a spa, accessible directly from the airport via an existing bridge over the surrounding ring road.
We were looking for a seamless shell to fold around the functional volumes of the buildings. After researching and detailing a number of alternatives- titanium zinc sheeting, Corian and similar solid surfacing, sprayed polyurethane damp-proof membranes, and waterproof concrete-resin based finishes- we finally opted for pultruded fibreglass panels. Pultrusion is a manufacturing process combining extrusion and pulling fibreglass through a die that can provide panels up to 1400mm wide and almost infinite lengths- we needed lengths of up to 25 meters. Aside from the lengths of the panels, the material has a series of qualities highly suitable for building: it is light weight, elastic, very stable in extreme temperatures (-20°C to +50°C), fireproof and waterproof. Reduced costs and construction times coupled with the inherent qualities and finish of the material have proved to be decisive in achieving the desired result in this project. This material is more often used for industrial products. An extensive experience of precision detailing to tight tolerances has been accumulated over the years which came in very useful in the detail design of the membrane.
The shell is curved around a subframe of pultruded structural profiles and steel arches, wrapping the entire length of each bay, or module of the hotel in a smooth, continuous skin. The length of the hotel comprises seven bays separated by
courtyards, with the curved façades facing the airport, and the rooms looking out on the courtyards. The almost flat roof, is treated as a façade to be seen from the airport, with openings onto terraces, light-wells or interior courts. The plant extracts and ventilation “breath” through vents twisted out of the roof membrane.
Guest Room Blocks
The layout of the rooms are organised around these courtyards which give a bar-code form to the plan and avoid a direct view from the airport into guest rooms. The western face of the hotel is left open to emphasis the horizontality of the volume with shallow water pools set into the lower level at the ends.
Car Park Grill Screen
The car park is to be clad with a grille open for natural ventilation but opaque from the outside, to create a visually solid base the entire length of the building.
On the open (west) side these blocks of rooms make up the façade in an irregular sequence of solid and void. Each solid is further articulated by a series of thick sculptural PVC blackout curtains which give both depth and dynamic to the overall elevation. The folded shell alternates with the glass transparency of the enclosed
volumes in which the reflective curtains mirror the external lighting conditions to produce a building that constantly changes aspect. Though normally considered an item of interior design, the black-out curtains were seen as an integral part of the façade from an early stage. The regularity on the mullion and transom grid is syncopated by the irregularity of the curtains seen through the extra-clear glass.
Escalator connection between ground
and main floor lobbies
The escalator block was also considered as an element of the architectural volume rather than an aspect of interior design.
The central portion of the whole building needed a visual and volumetric connection between the ground floor entrances, from/ to the railway and the main car park to the west, and the main entry lobby from the airport 9,61m above. This is achieved by
taking the lower edge (at +6,25m) of the shell enveloping the whole building and pulling a section of it down to the ground
(at -3,30m) at though it were elastic. The volume created contains the escalator block. From the inside the escalators catapult the visitor to the first main level of the hotel opening into a full height void topped by large light-well. From the outside the volume strongly signals the western entrance to the building with connections to the railway below, the airport behind -on axis, and the hotel above.
Between each block of rooms the emergency staircases, also seen from the airport side through the transparent corridor links, will be clad in a tensile structure (to be built in the coming months). Stretching over the staircase and between the blocks, this essential component completing the design of the western façade with its sculptural organic form, bonds the parts together and gives a tension to the overall composition.
Building as large scale Product Design
The perception of the building, often seen as a whole despite its length, held together in a seamless shell reinforces the idea of it as a piece of product design on an urban scale.
The movement of people as they arrive and leave the airport, the tension created between solid and void, curved and straight line, the play of light reflected off and through the building , provide a variation of views and give a sense of movement to the architecture that we sought in this scheme particularly.
About half-way through the design of the building exteriors we were asked by Starwood (Sheraton) to design the main entrance spaces of the hotel. All other interiors (guest rooms, conference centre, restaurants) were designed by Saporiti Hotel Design.
Ground Floor Lobby (-3,36m)
The ground floor lobby main space is
defined by a giant trellis suspended ceiling. A back-drop of bamboo canes behind a translucent film on both sides provide back-lighting to the Sheraton Link and sitting areas. The dark reflective floor in Venetian terrazzo reflecting the ceiling and light walls is plied over the wood volume of the reception desk. Another example of surfaces, be they interior or exterior, folded to define a space.
First Floor Lobby (+6,25m)
The space connects all three levels of the hotel via the escalator block down to the ground floor entrance and the false ceiling originating at the top floor level and serves as the conference centre reception.
The First Floor Lobby Lounge is situated on the upper level of the hotel with a spectacular view of Monte Rosa. The warm tones of wood and gold, purple and violet of the furnishing contrast of white and reflective surfaces of the exterior structure.
Design and construction of a new library: three ramped reading rooms, book stacks and university bookshop. Renovation and extension of the university library including the administration offices. Renovation of the auditorium (560 seats) and entrance lobby, furnishings and fitting. Restoration of the main auditorium block: 5 apartments, book archives, library staff offices, entry lobby, and main hall- including fittings, finishes, and furniture.
Completed October 2006, Total area: 2700 m2, Budget: 8m euro.
Client: Pontificia Università Lateranense
On commissioning the project for the new library extension to the Pontifical Lateran University the chancellor Mons. Rino Fisichella was quite clear in in his main objective: to bring the activity of reading and the consultation of books as the central occupation of the university.
The university holds an outstanding collection of books numbering around 600,000 volumes, some of which date back to the 16th century, whose subjects for the most part coincide with the principal academic courses: philosophy, theology and canonic law. The bulk of them are now deposited in the newly restored underground vaults equipped with an adequate fire extinguisher system and humidity and temperature control. Its location remains the same as in the original plan; in the assembly hall block towards the entrance gate.
The 25,000 volumes of antique books are kept separately in a humidity controlled archive for their better conservation.
Originally the reading rooms of the library were dispersed around the university and on the ground floor of the assembly hall block. They are now replaced by the ground floor entrance foyer to the Aula Magna (Main Assembly Hall) and the librarians’ offices.
The new reading rooms and book stacks for free consultation are enclosed in the new extension placed closer to the heart of the university with access from the main spine of the first floor corridor.
The reading rooms are now concentrated in a single volume with access to 70,000 volumes and 750 publications housed in the six floors of book stacks in a fire-protected tower. The new volume thus makes the chancellor’s request for a centrality to the library’s activities architecturally explicit.
Externally, the new volume is placed next to a central block of lecture rooms of the “E” shaped plan. Although it is carefully aligned with the existing volume and clad in the same brick, the new block nevertheless assertively declares its modernity in the play of suspended volumes in light and shade.
The library’s presence can be perceived from within the university; through a series of viewing cones created by joining the window reveals (that once gave on to the exterior) to apertures closed with fire glass in the book stacks. It is entered from the first floor corridor of the main building down a flight of basalt stairs under the first level of the book stacks into a spacious foyer. This is where the lockers, computer indexes, card index, professors reading room and librarians posting are located.
The library is arranged so that two floors of book stacks are connected by one sloping ramp, “U” shaped in plan. The book stacks are as low as possible to avoid the use of ladders to reach the highest shelves and, given the thin floor slab, are made look like a set of bookshelves themselves. They are connected vertically by a staircase set between the containing wall and the inside of the bookshelves facing the reading ramps, to form in effect a book tower. The slope of the ramps is determined by joining the regularly spaced floors of the book stacks to the irregular cuts in the façade which creates the reality (not simply the effect) of volumes floating in light. This can be clearly seen from the outside;
by day, the deeply recessed glazing allows the view of the faceted soffit planes beyond and the four supporting columns; by night, the three upper volumes clearly float on cushions of light. The ramps are not suspended in a void but defined by the light both vertically from the central lightwell and horizontally by the cuts in the two exterior façades.
These ramps are the reading rooms. They are levelled with mahogany platforms on which the reading tables are set. These are also made of mahogany block-wood and house the up-lights for ambient lighting.
The quality of light changes more markedly that most other buildings. Direct eastern light in the morning through the façade is complemented by a cooler light from the sky well which warms up as we get to midday and cools off again in the afternoon now complemented by a very warm evening glow of light reflected from the surrounding buildings. The apparent dynamics of the sloping ramps is augmented by the real dynamic of constant changes in daylight conditions.
The underside of the ramps are faceted in steel sheet, the permanent form work of the slabs, according to a complex geometry resulting from an irregularly sloping plane supported on four columns of which the inner and outer edges are necessarily straight.
The origin of this design was the structural answer to several stringent architectural demands made on the forbearing and brilliant structural engineer Andrea Imbrenda and namely: as few columns as possible, as thin a slab as possible on foundations that had to side-step some archaeological ruins found during excavations for the foundations. All within the confines of recently implemented seismic safety regulations in addition to normal civil engineering code.
The main assembly hall was restored to conform to modern safety and comfort standards as well as to incorporate the technical specification of a modern conference hall: projection facilities, sound diffusion, acoustic control and air conditioning.
The stepped floor was redesigned to provide safety aisles. A new suspended ceiling and the panelling to the side walls incorporating the black-out system for the existing windows and new seating complete the design.
The curved ceiling expresses an almost elastic quality especially in the treatment of the proscenium architrave defined as a frame pushing the surface into a double curvature. Either side of the stage the entrance doors are completely flush with the plane curving down from the ceiling. The side walls have been clad firstly with a layer of sound absorption panels and then a series of vertical wooden planks set at varying angles to produce a kinetic wave effect. In correspondence with the windows the planks rotate about the vertical axis to regulate the natural light.
Considerable care was taken in the design of the seating. The idea was to achieve a rounded form derived from a moulded upholstery filling. In this case the module is made up a single arm/backrest with the join between modules in the middle of the backrest. When it came to final production Poltrona Frau decided to adopt a more traditional technique, especially for the upholstery filling- and presented a superbly crafted leather armchair, multiplied by 560.
Hotel, conference centre, multi-storey car-park in the Esquilino district of Rome.
Completed in 2002, 235 Guest rooms, Area: 12,800 m2 hotel, Area: 19,000 m2 parking, budget: 50m euro
New building in the centre of Rome- comprising the design of all aspects of the building and its immediate surroundings, including interiors.
Hotel, conference centre, multi-storey car-park 600 cars in the Esquilino district of Rome (near Termini railway station)
Design, planning permissions, detail design, working drawings and tender documents.
Design of guest rooms, public spaces, interior and exterior design including furniture, lighting, fittings and signage.
The project for the hotel forms part of a larger urban plan drawn up by Rome City Council comprising the rest of the block and the surrounding blocks with the ambition of raising the area to a level in keeping with its very central position in the city. Briefly, it consisted of moving an open market from the perimeter of a 19th century piazza into two former barracks (one of which lies directly opposite the hotel), reactivating a theatre that had fallen into disuse for many years and generally restoring the area to its 19th century glory.
At first we were asked to work up what was a very basic design of a hotel over a carpark into a project with more emphasis on the hotel and less on the carpark. As the site was cleared to start work on the foundations of this revised design, an area of Ancient Roman remains over half the site was uncovered just thirty centimetres under the surface.
This brought the construction to an abrupt halt while the archeologists began excavations, and gave us the chance to propose a completely new design which obviated the need for so much parking at an underground level.
A requirement made by the urban landscape commission was to make the two completely different activities, namely a multi-storey car park and a hotel, into a unified block, the whole of which is suspended from the ground to allow access to the ruins.
These public areas are generated by a series of curved or folded planes that emerge from the level of the ruins, which house the conference hall, lounge and entrance lobby with access both directly from the street and through revolving doors of the main entrance on the south side.
The curved plane is used again for the roof-line under which the other principal public spaces are located: the restaurants and bar and the fitness centre all surrounded by generous terraces.
The definition of all the public spaces is defined by a curved roof or folded ground plane, enclosed by glass walls.
The Esquilino hill is one of the highest in Rome so the views from the terraces command a panorama of the whole of the north, south and east of the city . The wooden decking of the terraces limited only by the steel railings, in proximity to the coming and going of the trains in Termini railway station give a very strong sense of being on a moving ship.
Another important urban aspect, is the courtyard which is open on one side, to avoid the dank atmosphere of tall closed courtyards characteristic of the surrounding 19th century blocks, which connects the interior of the block with the public garden to the east and the theatre beyond.
Architecturally, the project has very little to do with the 19th century style of the other blocks and rather more to do with the play of volumes originating in the two kilometre travertine wall of the station lying to the north side of the building. This reference is reinforced by the use of a special plaster using a very traditional mix to give a travertine colour which in time and with help of the smog and the reddish rail dust will become part of the station complex.
The other strong exterior feature is the basalt base wedge on the north-east corner and socle on the south-west, a material specified in the project for all the pavements in this area. In this case, the pavement is folded up to form the wedge; a device that masks the level differences on one elevation and forms a secondary entrance from the station on the other. The basalt socle, on the other corner forms a base around what is effectively a massive bridge over the area of the ruins. The bridge was a request made by the archeological authority that wanted an area (about half of the area excavated) free of any supporting structure of the car park above.
These are the ruins visible from the interior of the entrance hall.
It is in these areas we were freest of external limitations from either the client or the numerous authorities charged with safeguarding the public’s sense of good taste, safety, hygiene and history. The limitations, if any, were essentially functional.
The guest rooms, of which there are approximately 10 types are variations on a theme. Here the approach was based on the premise that the hotel room, contrary to much branding hype, is not a home from home. With space at a premium (we needed to create 235 rooms) clearly the bathroom/bedroom distinction had to go. In the most frequent room type the bathtub is enclosed in a translucent glass box which also acts as an ambient light source.
There are ten room types exploring the variations on this theme. In the “raft” type, the conclusion of the series, the bed, shower, sink, vanity area and clothes rack are all set into the raft base, in highly polished marine mahogany, in reference to the Riva speedboat of the 1950s.
Lighting and Materials
Every room has a coloured light under the window which illuminates the facades and animates the courtyard at night.
The materials we worked around in these areas are: for the floor; a foam backed P.V.C. for the soft touch underfoot, mahogany wood for its solid warmth, white leather for luxury, glass as lampshade, panel, screen; mixed wool and linen rugs in colours you can eat, and bespoke furniture in G.R.P. with slightly rubbery metal fleck paint, steel, linen, two-tone fabric....
We designed the reading lights, hooks, handles, mirrors, and toilet brushes, the sensor light switches, baggage trolleys and command totems, and anything else that came our way
Master Development Plan for a holiday resort and with private villas scheme on the tropical island of Langkawi.Upgrading of the existing hotel (200 rooms), Public Facilities, Retail Centre, Eco Park, Broadwalk, Marina, various types of residential accommodation.
2008- present, Area: 20 hectares
Client: Auf Properties
The particularity of the site lies in the fact that on one side of this narrow strip is a river with a landscape of mangroves, rocky outcrops with low growing trees, and the other a tropical seaside paradise. In between, the land is shaped by the river and its tidal forces, depositing sand and mud on the concave curving banks of the spit and eroding the convex ones. The water, pushed and pulled by the tides, flows through the culverts under the riverside road to flood the area adjacent to it and allow the mangroves to grow. The central service road marks the divide between two kinds of nature and two forces shaping the land. From the beach, the wind and waves have shaped the coastline and brought the trees, clearly not tropical, from afar. The sound of the wind through the tall casuarina trees-rhu- gives the name to this place. The site is not only nature’s work- there are buildings, roads and other more discreet man-made interventions which have physically shaped the land: apart from the hotel buildings and infrastructure, the beach has been widened, gardens have been created, swimming pools dug and so on. The riverside road not only provides access to the site but fixes the otherwise transforming edge of the promontory permanently.
This is the landscape, the context, literally the grounding of our project.
Our overall approach to marry the landscape with the given programme was to conserve and reinforce the natural aspects of the site and occupy, where possible, either areas already built or clearings in the woods. Integral to the project is the planting of large numbers of new trees for privacy between villas, for continuity with the existing landscape and to return previously built-over areas to their original state.
Villas on the point
The point is where the land narrows due to the tidal erosion by the river. About half the area regularly floods at high tide. The lines of development all tend to run parallel with the two coasts; the front of trees to the beach, the main flood channels to the river, the existing central pathway that will become the access road. If we see these lines as the warp in the loom of the landscape, our proposal creates a settlement pattern that acts as the weft, weaving in an out of the trees joining the two banks and binding the landscape together.
They take the form of causeways, a stable “ground” upon which the villas can be constructed, above the constantly changing ground and water below. However, this artificial ground is not heavy like earth or water, it is light. The nature of these causeways changes continuously along their length depending on the function they perform: road, pathway, garage, terrace, exterior room, fountain, and especially as sites for the villas. They are the access routes and the private territory of the villas and therefore adapt their shape accordingly: from a single suspended narrow pathway, to an enclosing structure the whole width and height of the villa. In terms of planning, the objective is to bring into play the essential nature and dynamic of the whole of the site for all the villas.
It is important to avoid a barrier of sea-facing villas that destroy the tree front on the beach and cut off the villas behind from the sea. The trees fronting the beach make the natural “façade” to the sea which is only occasionally interrupted by the intrusion of the villas through the
branches. They also provide the privacy between one villa and the next.
At ground floor, the open areas are defined as car ports under the access deck, to the pool side of the ground floor swimming pool. Above, the open areas contain fountains and pools , terraces, verandas and belvederes with views to the natural surroundings.
By concentrating the development of the villas in areas previously occupied by building, existing plants and trees are conserved, with the aim of producing, a higher density of villas together with more privacy. The villas themselves hug the ground with the rooms arranged around
the pool The exterior and interior spaces are treated with the same attention. The roofs give a very strong character to the villas and there are several functional reasons for this. By almost reaching the ground at the back, the roofs give a strong sense of direction to each villa and with it a sense of enclosure and privacy. They can be moved and opened to increase the flexibility of interior and exterior spaces and the views upward to the sky.
Small clinic for dental practice with an operation theatre, 3 consultancy rooms, and 6 private overnight stay rooms. Planning permission granted. On site in 2013 - completion 2014
Area: 500m2 Budget: 1m euro
Client: Franco Lamanna
This project sited on the main street of Sala Consilina, a provincial town in southern Italy near Salerno, is a new building for which we were commissioned to design a dental clinic for the owner’s two sons. The main consultancy rooms are arranged around an internal courtyard on the ground floor. The basement level houses a small garage and an operating theatre. The first floor, is left free for future expansion of the the clinic.
The challenge in this project is to integrate a new volume into an existing context of a petrol station and car showroom so that a relationship with the the street across from the forecourt is established. The new façade embraces the whole front, including the showroom, and is articulated according to the the different functions running behind, from left to right:
ramp down to car park, entrance to clinic, public café, spare parts shop, car showroom.
Internally the spaces are organised around an open courtyard to guarantee natural light and air in an otherwise blind façade.
The façade consists of a stone plane that has been unfolded to describe a virtual volume sitting at the roadside with a stone entrance ramp leading up to the inner courtyard. The ground plane of the courtyard is folded up to become its rear-most wall. The inner volumes and the roof plane are to be built in fair faced white concrete.
To the right of the clinic is a bar serving the petrol station customers. Next right, is the spare parts shop, with the car showroom next door.
The projects presented here came out of the experience of working on the detailing of the cladding system of the Malpensa Airport Hotel. The use of pultruded fibreglass in the building industry has been has not been exploited to its full potential. It is lightweight, fire-proof, water-resistant, elastic, high-precision, low thermal dilation and also fairly cheap.
3B FACTORY BATICE, Belgium
Cladding system for offices and workshops of a fibreglass manufacturer
Project 2011, Façade 1000m2, Budget- 4m
3B is an international manufacturer of fibreglass. 3B supplied the glass matting for the fibreglass panels used in the the cladding of the Sheraton Hotel, Malpensa. We were asked to design a cladding system for their research centre and offices in Batice, Belgium. The requirement was for a continuous facade that wrapped three different blocks: administration offices, workshops and an external exhibition area.
It is made up of fibreglass strips of different widths. They spiral around the large circular staircase to create a main entrance. From here they wrap around the workshops, leaving wide slots for air ducts, to then detach themselves from the main block and form the exhibition area.
The office block cladding continues with the same system, adapting this time to screen the curtain wall behind. The system of strips exploits the natural mono-directional elasticity of this material and very low thermal dilation coefficient.
3B FACTORY TUNIS, Tunisia
Fibreglass factory 2011
Area-5000m2, Budget- 4,22m euro
3B, the fibreglass manufacturer, asked us to propose a cladding system for their factory outside Tunis. In addition to the exterior cladding the client also wanted as much of the structure to be realised in fibreglass. The scheme was limited to the most visible aspects of the factory from the main entrance road I.e: the main entrance gate house , the external car park and the administrative offices. The gate house is completely built of fibreglass with strips that wrap around the front, back and roof. The car park is a shaded tunnel in which the fibreglass strips are woven into a kind of long basket.
GREDA FACTORY, Carpi, Modena
Competition for a factory 2011
Area: 7350 m2 Budget: 10m euro
The design of this building set out to obtain the maximum visibility from the passing motorway. The shape of the site like an arrow pointing in the direction of the motorway suggested the point as the main focus of the project. The building is shaped by a single ribbon of fibreglass starting from the road level containing the factory building which then folds back on itself and rises to house the office block. The knot that is formed towards the motorway at the sharp end of the site becomes a dynamic sign seen by the traffic passing along this busy trunk road. On the inside, the knot is where the level change between the two floors takes place, generating a dynamic double height space. The exterior cladding is shaped according to the window openings both horizontal and vertical which both encloses and describes the volumes of the building.
entrance lobby, restaurant/bar 350m2 150 covers- completed 1998; Discotheque 300m2, completed 2001, enlarged-2002; Design, and site supervision of 120 rooms in 7 types- completed 2002; 3 meeting rooms of 110,70,30 seats completed 2004; Breakfast room-150 covers -completed 2008; implementation of new safety standards for the building, refurbishment of guest rooms- emergency exits, fire stairs, redesign of exterior façade and access spaces Completed 2010
Completed 1997 - 2010
The project for the Ripa Hotel has evolved piecemeal over fourteen years as a series of interiors in an existing residence hotel of the 70s and its gradual conversion to a 4 star all suites design hotel. The Ripa Hotel was one of the first in Rome to move away from “Classic-Modern” styling to up-front modern contemporary design.
Entrance Lobby and Reception
The entrance lobby is developed as a single fluid space connecting the entrance to the reception desk crossing the entrances to the restaurant (to the right) and the conference room the left.
Restaurant and Bar
This was the first built interior design project we did as a studio in 1997. It consisted of turning the existing breakfast room and separate corner café into an open plan space articulated by fixed and moving furniture that connected the main lobby of the hotel on one side with the street on the other. It thus became a venue not only for hotel guests but outside visitors too.
The benefit of starting with a room that was a residence apartment is exploited by removing all internal divisions and high furniture to maximise the room size. The “cupboard” is left open behind the bed-head. The “pebble” carpet (to our design) designates the various zones of the room.
These suites are located at the corners of the building. Their generous size has been increased in this design by demolishing most of the internal partitions. The bathroom becomes an integral part of the room by opening up the separating curtains. The design of the bed “Pipa” as an isolated object in the middle of the room was made especially for this open plan solution.
The roof section is rouded off to become continuous surface with the floor finished with epoxy resin. The furniture, the “Pipa” bed, side tables, writing desk, and trolley as well as the lights, are all designed by us.
This design of a discotheque within the Ripa hotel building features an independent interior skin that wraps over the technical solutions for the soundproofing of the existing structure and the air conditioning system. The logo enlarged to the height of the façade (at street level) is set in a sound trap between two layers of glass as the exterior face of the disco. The project was reworked in three successive years as the disco was enlarged
Version 1 2002
The project consisted of a soundproof box made up of an isolated shell rising from the floor as a continuous ribbon to the suspended ceiling which also hides the main ductwork of the hotel above. The double glazing to the street side encloses the discotheque’s logo - an inflatable sign- and name in letters a storey high.
Inside, in a spare interior design, the bar counters and bathrooms were all made of stainless steel with the VIP lounge seating as the only soft elements- polystyrene ball-sack rafts.
Version 2 2005
Area 500 m2
After a successful opening year the discotheque was doubled in area with revised soundproofing, new air conditioning a VIP lounge (in the middle), new entrance, cloakroom, an enlarged bar and kitchen facilities.
Version 3 2007
The disco lasted a year as such. Problems due to late night noise outside the venue led the management to change the use to a breakfast room. All the same features were maintained of the earlier version. Only the interior furnishing, paintwork and lighting were adapted to the new function.
Entertainment and Restaurant Complex -Ritz Carlton Doha, Qatar: 10 restaurants, 4 cafés, 12 shops and galleries, amphitheatre, landscaping. Competition in collaboration with Atkins on the artificial island of the Ritz Carlton Hotel.
competition 2008 First Prize
Area: 33.000m2, Budget: 90m QR
Client: Qatar National Hotels
Our proposal for the restaurant and entertainment complex in Doha is generated by its setting on an artificial island. This is our context. It is sufficiently large to enable the possibility of a building complex that creates its own landscape.
We have done this by imagining two irregularly perforated planes hovering over the ground:
- the first, is a raised floor plane
- the second, is the roof canopy arching over the entire area
The different aspects of the programme are organised around the three large public areas defined by the openings in the planes:
1. The first is a large Islamic garden with areas open to the sun alternating with shaded ones. It is hard paved with irrigation channels describing a pattern that connects a variety of trees and plants chosen for their intrinsic qualities- colour, perfume, form and so on.
2. The second is a piazza or square in a more urban tradition. Here we have imagined a square open to the canal with a mooring quay along one side- like a square in a fishing port.
3. The third is the western point of the island into which the amphitheatre naturally sits- allowing the spectators a view of the canals on each side as though they were at the bows of a large ship.
The relation to the water of the surrounding canals is reinforced by introducing water pools, channels and fountains as an integral part of this new landscape. Along the banks of the canal the scalloped shaped edges of the decks create exterior spaces which give a sense of enclosure and privacy for the gardens, terraces and balconies of the individual restaurants.
Conceptually the idea of a landscape allows for future growth of programme. In this sense the proposal is “loose-fit”-it can easily accommodate more or different or larger units.
Residential Complex for the Ukrainian Religious Association of Santa Sofia Rome: hostel for pilgrims (90 rooms), residence of the Patriarch , Attorney’s residence, residence of the local Bishop, cultural and conference centre, administrative offices of Santa Sofia Religious Association, accommodation for the Ukrainian community, staff and students. Restaurant and Bar.
Area: 12500 m2, Budget: 15 m euro
Client: St. Sophia Religious Association
Programme: Hostel for pilgrims (90 rooms), residence of the Patriarch , Attorney’s residence, residence of the local Bishop, cultural and conference centre, administrative offices of Santa Sofia Religious Association, accommodation for the Ukrainian community, staff and students. Restaurant and Bar.
The complexity of the programme needed a unifying element or gesture in the overall planning to tie parts together. A system of public spaces consisting of squares and hanging gardens at different levels is created to ensure an interweaving of landscape with the different enclosed spaces at various levels.
The geometries of the interior spaces are derived from the intersections between the cover plates raised of the ground plane enclosing the many activities of the cultural centre.
Public functions are concentrated in the slab rising from the ground next to the entrance overlooking the garden to the more private spaces of the hotel and apartments.
The auditorium garden square is the heart of the whole complex, in close proximity to the square adjacent to the recently restored Santa Sofia cathedral.
Zentral und Landesbibliothek Berlin - Central and Reading Library Berlin - Architecture: King Roselli Architetti and Anne Koenig; Landscape and Urban Planning: OSA
The competition for the central public library in Berlin, held at the beginning of 2013, had two aspects to it. On the one hand, the library building with a complex programme of accessory spaces, and on the other, the urban setting of a large area surrounding the building.
The Templehof Airfield, now a large urban park, and the development of the surrounding edge has been the object of several competitions in recent years. The competition required a development of the landscape and urban plan for the areas adjacent to the library site in with the intent of providing a context integrated with the proposal for the library building.
The master plan, in contrast to the existing suburban pattern, seeks to provide a density and variety of use mixed with distinctly urban public spaces that produces a skyline in which the library building is the most distinctive.
In this context the taller volume of the library building clearly acts as an urban landmark in counterpoise to the Airport building on the building frontage as seen from the airfield.
The master plan, in contrast to the existing suburban pattern, seeks to provide a density and variety of use mixed with distinctly urban public spaces that produces a skyline in which the library building is the most distinctive
The dense cityscape is matched by dense landscaping to form an edge on the airfield side to provide a variety of more enclosed garden spaces in contrast to the openness of airfield.
These are created by volumes of the buildings together with the sloping ground planes and heavily wooded areas that form fingers that reach into the airfield to form a discontinuous façade to the park. These “finger blocks” are geometrically parallel to the two runways of the airfield which visually, in not volumetrically, dominate and generate the south side of the scheme.
These gardens are woven into the ground floor on the north and west sides where the café, amphitheatre and interior courtyard spaces are located.
On the main entry side (to the west) the piazza is sunken by 1.5m. This is the conclusion of the the pedestrian boulevard running north-south parallel to the Tempelhoferdamm, the main vehicular spine for this side of the park.
As for the landscaping the runways are a mark/sign of many possible readings for this site in general and the library building in particular:
-their sheer length and straightness connote a dynamic quite apart from mere function
– take-off and landing
-graphic sign in a landscape void: land-mark
-east west direction (vector) – prevailing wind, not just for planes but also urban ventilation
-scale contrast- infrastructure scale vs. cityscape, urban volume vs. landcape void
These aspects inevitably lead to their incorporation in the generation of the form of both the library building and the surrounding urban structure.
The library building is generated flying wall which “takes off” and turns enclosing the various spaces of the building in a spiralling movement on a series of very slightly inclined ramps (1%-2%).
At ground floor it encloses the entry lobby and creates the void for the courtyard garden.
the wall continues to climb and turn for 7 floors enclosing the the main book tower (with a mechanised distribution system) leaving a central void- a pivot space in the middle and a slot shaped courtyard around which the reading rooms are located.
The spiralling wall is accompanied by a continuous perimeter ramp connecting the spaces. On the long edges of the courtyard, connecting ramps between levels are located. The interiors are lit naturally from both sides: from the courtyard by glass curtain walling between the ramps and through the translucent external skin, composed of a floor to ceiling curtain wall and, to its exterior, large scale mesh made of prefabricated GRC panels. The cantilevered reading rooms are spaced apart vertically with glass curtain walls for views to east (airfield), north (airport building) and south (down-town)
The Centipede Kiosk in Archaeological Park, Rome
Competition 2011, First Prize
Area- 200 m2, Budget 300,000 euro
Like a centipede the kiosk is composed of segments with two different slopes, relative to the ground. These allow a lot of light to penetrate inside the structure, or the exo-skeleton, and establish an interior/exterior relation with the surrounding park.
The kiosk was designed in Core-Ten clad wood chip panel. It features a rolling L-shaped flap that when extended, opens the the kiosk to the public creating an external sitting area. When the flap is closed it means that the kiosk is closed