The "Palazzo del Ghiaccio" student house in La Spezia offers 52 beds for university students in an atmosphere designed for sociability and living comfort. Located in a building of historical interest in the city center dating back to 1923, the residence is strategically located in relation to the main university sites. This urban location also allows for the presence of numerous personal services within walking distance and connections to the transportation network (bus, train station and marina). The project aims to return a building with its own historical identity to the city through an intervention in total respect of the planning guidelines suggested by the major community policies: valorization and re-functionalization of the existing building to respond to the current needs of the area. The project aims to return a building with its own historical identity to the city through an intervention in total respect of the planning guidelines suggested by the major community policies: valorization and re-functionalization of the existing building to respond to the current needs of the area. The design started from an understanding of the spaces and structural conditions of the existing building. The analysis of the state of the existing building made it possible to determine the actions planned for the recovery and re-functionalization of the building, in particular for the definition of the areas dedicated to the functional areas envisaged for conversion into a university residence.The possibility of realizing a structure suited to the dimensional needs then met the enormous potential expressed by the new destination: the residence stands in the La Spezia landscape as a response to an urgent social need. With its 52 lodging places, Palazzo del Ghiaccio can cover part of the demand with a quality service with strong social value. The project involves first of all the demolition of the cladding and flooring, now in a state of decay, and bring back the original massive structure of the Ice Factory. The ground floor will contain functions and activities for sharing between people living inside the building with outside visitors. It will contain spaces dedicated to conference rooms, recreational areas and a study area, appropriately isolated from the remaining functions. The main entrance will be highlighted by a fully glazed volume that will act as a filter between inside and outside. The old vault, which was left over from the building's former banking function, will be converted into a library open and available to all. The upper 4 floors, on the other hand, will be totally dedicated to residential function. The organizational model according to which it was decided to structure the university student housing and residences is hotel-style, with seven rooms per floor: one single room with en suite facilities, two doubles with en suite facilities, and four doubles with shared facilities (three). The rooms, furnished with attention to the theme of sharing that respects personal space, fit organically into the structural scheme of the building, which has been kept intact. Common spaces, consisting of a shared kitchen and laundry room, are provided on each floor to meet and satisfy all the needs of the hostel guests. The terrace, on the other hand, will be dedicated to gathering and socializing spaces: the space will be filled with tables, chairs and loungers to enjoy the view of La Spezia's historic center and the outdoors, surrounded by the presence of vegetation both thanks to the addition of real potted tree species and vertical green walls leaning against the walls of adjacent buildings. Overlying the new canopy will be photovoltaic panels that will contribute to the building's energy improvement. Instead, a fitness area with typical gymnasium equipment will be placed under the canopy. All common areas, present from the ground floor to the roof, are able to ensure compliance with the minimum quality requirements from the standards . The design includes work on the replacement of windows and doors, adaptation and implementation of systems capable of enabling a high degree of energy efficiency: in fact, as a result of the intervention, the building will go to class A3 (from current class E).
Exa engineering srl was founded in La Spezia as an engineering company in 1998 after a common journey of its founders, ing. Sabatino Tonacci and geom. Paolo Biggeri. First inside a company, then as freelancers in an associated studio. Exa's main value is the capacity of solving problems of a varied customers thanks to the consolidated experience of the partners and the different training courses of their internal collaborators. Professionalism and passion impose the same care for each project, from the smallest to the largest.
Giuliano Giaroli opened the studio in 1985, devoting himself mainly to interior design and renovation. His settings are always strongly connoted by the furniture elements he designs himself as an interior designer. In 2003 he began his close collaboration with Schiffini with the design of some kitchen lines and accessories.