Polo Verde is part of an urban regeneration strategy aimed at rethinking the area of the former slaughterhouse of Cremona with the final goal of creating an ITC district in Southern Lombardy. According to a bird's eye view of this technological hub where different buildings co-exist surrounded by public green spaces, the design idea aspires to replicate the complex spacial sequence as a memory of the morphological gradient that characterizes the local urban fabric. This strategy focuses on shaping a collection of environmental spots to ensure the permeability of the area and conceive a spatial and visual continuity. Thus, the design is a careful balance between tradition and innovation. The typological references to the local historic architecture drive the project design. The adoption of the iconography of the Renaissance palace creates an easily recognizable urban block whose identity stands out in the surroundings. The main southern elevation is how the new building reveals itself to the city. This U-shaped façade with a significant roof garden draws an architectural rhythm consisting of various white cladding splays that frame different-sized windows. A balanced harmony between windows and sunscreens marks the upper headquarters floors, while the ground floor is more transparent to host facilities and commercial offices open to the public. The side and wider elevations present few windows and a continuous curtain wall envelope. On the eastern side, a horizontally proportioned gate introduces the central courtyard where the two overlooking double-height entrance hallways find places. A sloping ceiling drives the visitor’s gaze toward the inner triple-height open void and lets us imagine an uninterrupted view of the future urban park. Groundfloor indoor and outdoor spaces form a unique relationship and work as a representative place of relations and exchange for the upper-floored headquarters offices. Thanks to the combined contribution of different renewable sources – geothermal and solar – and proper insulation of the building envelope, Polo Verde is an NZEB (Nearly Zero Energy Building) classed office building that reduces CO2 emissions and minimizes energetic demand and maintenance. Its structure develops around different leveled patios and hanging gardens that play a strategic role in controlling indoor climatic comfort. They provide natural ventilation and appropriate sunlight; they contribute to screening the solar radiation and cooling the working environment. At the same time, those outdoor spaces offer interesting crossing points of view between the workspace and the transition spaces. The facades consist of steel panels with a laser-cut QR code pattern. According to a technological key and an abstraction process, this motif is a re-interpretation of the Po Valley area brickwork wall called “gelosia”. At the same time, this cladding reveals in the façade the technological vocation that leads the building design and becomes the emblem of the activities that take place inside. The new building has been designed to the highest standards of space flexibility to allow future users to customize the interior layout. The goal is to guarantee a continuous technological adaptation to the IT changes. A glass wall system solves the mediation between indoors and outdoors. The building contributes to hosting flowers, bushes, and vines to create a proper habitat for insect pollination to enhance the biodiversity of that area. The openings have variable shapes to optimize the well-being of users. Instead of ribbon windows, the project design introduces landscape windows as an architectural device to frame the vegetation and the views of the city, intended as an element of quality and psycho-visual comfort.
Maurizio Mario Ori (1957), architect and landscape architect enrolled at AIAPP (Italian Association of Landscape Architects), focuses his research on integrated and complex processes that involve architecture, landscape, and energy in high-valued environmental areas.
In 1994 he founded O+A Ori Arienti Landscape and Architecture with Paola Arienti. He took part in several international competitions. In 2005 he won the 1st prize for the new Palazzo del Cinema in Venice with 5+1 AA e Rudy Ricciotti. In 2010 he was shortlisted for the Shangai Expo, where he exhibited the design for a new Silk Road railway. In 2013 he was invited to the competition for the new botanical garden in Erbil (Iraq), in which he got 1st prize.
In 2019 he is one of the contributors to the 2nd edition of the Biennale di Pisa called “Tempodacqua”. ln 2021 he took part in XVII Biennale di Architettura di Venezia, inside “Resilient Communities” organized by Padiglione Italia.
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