Architecture of simplicity – Winery in Custoza
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Architecture of simplicity – Winery in Custoza

Filippo Bricolo

Architecture of simplicity – Winery in Custoza
Edited By Francesco Pagliari -

The extension of this winery in Custoza makes an architectural statement, effectively establishing a dialogue between the modern and the traditional through a design that synthesizes functional needs and the requirements of sales and customer reception facilities. This is a synthesis that simultaneously embraces the contemporary while not shying away from established building traditions.
The project sets out to effectively bring together the historical core of the building complex, the home, (which is used for customer reception), and the architecture of the extension itself. In its simplicity, the project encompasses the use of stone materials, and creates compositional variations and accents. The wing with the new portico and customer reception and sales area has been placed in a direct relationship with the house, creating a visual continuity in the profile of the volumes, composed of linear and strict geometric proportions, and through the presence of pitched roofs, which create a formal point of identification.
The new building contributes to forming a square courtyard with one open side. With its cobblestone paving, the area makes a statement as a historical element within the complex. A path running at a sharp diagonal angle, highlighted by variations in colour, connects the house to the sales area. This cobbled pathway leads to the entrance gate, a large opening in the wall underscored by its heavy stone slabs. It is further clarified when open, with it exactly in line with the pathway across the courtyard, thus creating a symbolic wall – a massive stone ‘invitation’ to the entrance.
The new building complex is divided into functions. The sales and customer reception area is separated from the production areas by a high timber internal wall, beyond which are the areas where the wine is kept, bottled and made. A second portico, parallel to the portico near the courtyard, is the formal conclusion of the complex and is used for storing tools and equipment.
A defining element of the building is the use of traditional materials from the Verona area, with red nembro marble used for skirtings, cornices, architraves and reveals, and blocks of Vicenza stone used for walls. The stones, which are the same size and quite thick, are assembled without mortar to produce a volumetric mass that is sufficient to take advantage of thermal inertia and therefore reduce as much as possible temperature variations in the winemaking areas.
Combining the traditional and the modern also involves recognizing the characteristics of materials and their properties in terms of thermal balance – for example, without external energy inputs. This contemporary approach accommodates, in a decorative sense, the presence of rough machining and cutting marks on the faces of the stone blocks as a kind of graffiti that becomes an expressive element within a more or less formalized design, without detracting from the unique hewn finish of the nembro thresholds.
The use of technology combines the traditional with the contemporary in the stone finish used for the lintels of the large windows, whose load-bearing function is performed by steel -beams. This adds a dignity and expressiveness to the design, giving the winery elements comparable to a noble villa, while at the same time rejecting strictly technological formulas in the compositional language. This design is not intended to be a reproduction but an interpretation, which is contemporary in every sense, of an architectural theme poised between form and function.

Francesco Pagliari

Location: Custoza, Verona
Client: Azienda Agricola Gorgo
Completion: 2005
Gross Floor Area: 840 m2
Architects: Studio Bricolo-Falsarella Associati – Filippo Bricolo, Francesca Falsarella
Works Management: Filippo Bricolo
Contractor: Costruzioni Edili Fasol

Vicenza Stone: Grassi 1880
Nembro Marble: Essegi Marmi 

Photo by: © ORCH – Orsenigo Chemollo

Fa.bric – Filippo Bricolo, Francesca Falsarella 
Filippo Bricolo (born in Verona, 1970) and Francesca Falsarella (born in Conegliano, 1970) both graduated in architecture from the IUAV with first class honours. In 2003 they established Bricolo-Falsarella Associati, working in the areas of design and project management for public and private clients.
The studio has received awards and honourable mentions, including selection for the Giovani Architetti 2006 prize, awarded by the Accademia di San Luca in Rome for the Gorgo winery in Custoza; inclusion of the Castelginest public space in Levada di Piave (Treviso) among the most significant works produced in the Veneto region in the Guida Architettura del Veneto (1995-2005); selection for the Rizoma, Giovane Architettura Italiana biennial; an exhibit at the Rhizome 2008 exhibition in Pontedera; and inclusion in ‘Veneto 40. Giovani Architetti alla Prova’ at the XII Bienal Internacional de Arquitectura in Buenos Aires. Designs by the study have been featured in architecture journals, including Il giornale dell'architettura, Progetti e Concorsi, Aión, and d'A.
Since 1999, Philip Bricolo has held teaching and research posts at various universities. In 2004 he received his PhD in Architectonic Composition from the IUAV, with his thesis, supervised by Professor Luciano Semerani, receiving special mention. Between 2007 and 2011, he lectured at the University of Parma. From 2005 to 2009, he was editor-in-chief of the journal architettiverona and a director of the Verona Province Order of Architects, where he also coordinated publishing activities. In 2011 he was invited to lecture at the Workshop di Architettura in Venice, where he received a special mention by the jury.

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