Located south of Brescia railway station in an important urban consolidation area, this residential development, designed by architects Paolo Pasquini and Camillo Botticini (abda), represents the hub of the redevelopment. The presence of important public infrastructure in the area, such as a park (currently under construction) dedicated to the 16th century land surveyor Camillo Tarello, and the ongoing construction of the Brescia underground railway, with the nearby Lamarmora station at a considerable depth below ground level, made it necessary to pay great attention to the layout of the outdoor spaces and buildings. By focusing on the relationship between the volumes of the buildings and their positioning on the site, the layout of the complex achieves a high degree of residential comfort while creating a distinctive urban identity within a setting of similar buildings. In contrast with the recently constructed nearby tower blocks, the project is based around a split polygon plan with non-orthogonal angles, with the buildings arranged along the horizontal.
A key design element was the use of a piloti structural system, which supports the building above the open ground level. The use of the pilotis conveys the idea of open land extending uninterrupted from the surrounding green areas and car parks through the building. They also introduce a strong architectural accent at ground level, creating a complex relationship between the building and its surrounding land, between the columns, and where they meet the ground, and the stairwells and lifts, which create rhythmic accents within the space. Some sections of the complex are based on stepped levels, between four and six storeys, creating a sloping profile, marked by the asymmetrical pitched roof.
The elevations are quite different. One side has terracotta strips, secured to the building by metal pipe fasteners, which provide sun-shading while also acting as a decorative element. The strips are arranged in horizontal bands along the parapet of the continuous balcony, which is set back from the line of the façade, and in vertical partitions that extend to the upper floors, visually culminating at the acute intersections of the adjoining elevations. On the opposite side of the building, which is more exposed to direct sunlight, more substantial sun-shading has been used, consisting of both fixed grilles and grilles of electrically operated, vertically sliding metal louvers, which maximize comfort levels in the living rooms, which open onto balconies, which, again, are set back from the line of the façade.
The 159 double-aspect residential units, 36 of which are social housing, are different sizes. There is also a protected niche, a kind of bioclimatic greenhouse, facing onto the balconies. The design of this Class A building provides a constant and equal dialogue with the urban landscape in all the flats through the visual mediation, and the comfort provided, by the bands formed by the continuous balconies on each elevation.
Client: Europa Risorse
Gross Floor Area: 25.250 m2
Cost of Construction: 18.000.000 Euros
Architects: Camillo Botticini – ABDA, Paolo Pasquini – studio elementare
Design Team: Alessandro Alberti, Francesca Bignardi, Cinzia Catena, Michela Cibaldi, Alessandro Galperti Marzia Mainardi, Ignazio Marchetti, Federica Mometto, Cristina Sipolo, Eleonora Zucchelli
Project coordination: Camillo Botticini, Giulia de Appolonia
Structural: Tecne – Lamberto Cremonesi, Gabriele Facchi, Giuseppe Natale
Plant: Tesis – Marco Pinchetti, Angelo Canotti, Giampiero Perrotta
Aluminium louvers: Modelsystem
Terracotta louvers: Sannini
Doors and windows: Ekonal
Photo by: 1/9-11-14/17-19 © Alessandra Bello, 10-12-13-18 © Gianni Botticini
Paolo Pasquini was born in Pisa in 1968, graduated in Architecture from Florence University and began professional practice in Pisa with a plan to renovate the History Gallery in the Pisa Certosa Natural History Museum. He went on to collaborate with architect Italo Rota in Milan (the Perugia San Sisto Mediathèque, the competition to design the New Museum of the Twentieth Century, Milan) and with the Italian branch of the firm Aukett Europe (the Bodio Office Center, Milan, and the Call for Ideas Competition for Milan’s New Fair District).
In 2002 Enel Green Power commissioned him to experiment with incorporating photovoltaic panels in architecture, including a decorative-didactic greenhouse, the Butterfly Conservatory, for the Alento Dam, Salerno.
From 2004 on, he began liaising with Europa Risorse. Projects would include: drawing up the Maciachini masterplan, 2004-2006, for conversion of the abandoned Carlo Erba factory in Milan(the project would be entered for the 12th Venice Architecture Biennale, 2010, Italy Pavilion, “Ailati. Riflessi dal futuro”); plans and artistic supervision of the Food Park, 2006-2008: renovation of two pavilions under the Maciachini area masterplan, Milan.
Recent projects: an urban landscape plan at Marina Velca near Tarquinia, including summer residences, a club house and services, enlarging the golf course.
Born at Brescia in 1965, Camillo Botticini graduated in architecture from the Milan Polytechnic in 1990, where he obtained his PhD in architectural and urban design in 2003. Since 2005 he has been a contract professor there in urban landscaping, extending his teaching to architectural design as of 2009. In 2009 he was invited to the Venice international workshop.
The start to his career came in1991 when he worked with S. Crotti, G. Canali and G. Belotti. In 1993 he set up a practice in Brescia. In 2008 he founded abda with Giulia de Appolonia.
Projects of his have obtained a number of awards and citations: enlarging the Marcheno Cemetery (1995-97) which received a mention in the Inarch Prize, Domus 1998; the Damioli showroom at Ponte San Marco (near Brescia) which was chosen for the Luigi Cosenza national architecture award 1998; the Bagnolo Mella cemetery (selected for the Luigi Cosenza European Award 2002); a gymnasium at Sarezzo (special mention for the Arches Prize 2004 and chosen for the city forum at the Architecture Festival 2004).
With his Aler housing scheme at Brescia he was chosen for the Piranesi Prize 2005, received a special mention at the Medaglia d’Oro dell’Architettura Italiana 2006, and was entered by the Milan Triennale for the Mies van der Rohe European Prize. The project won the national Inarch-Ance award 2006 and was chosen for the Ugo Rivolta European Award for Economic Residential Building (2008).
His primary school at Azzano Mella was chosen for the Architecture Festival 2005, while his school canteen at Villafranca reached the final of the Medaglia d’Oro dell’Architettura Italiana, Milan Triennale, 2009.
Some of the competitions he has won are: doing up Piazzale Bertacchi, Sondrio, 1991; the civic centre at Villa Carcina near Brescia (1998); the Brescia Swimming Centre (2005); the civic centre at Malnate (near Varese), 2007; the new Milan Polyclinic (with Techint, 2008). He was chosen to compete for the St Moritz Swimming Centre and for a Parisian social building scheme (2010).
Botticini has given lectures presenting his own work in Italy and abroad, and was a speaker at the meetings “Identità dell’architettura italiana” (Florence 2006) and “Grandi ensembles residenziali”, Milan Triennale (2008).