In the village of Gualdicciolo, in the microstate of San Marino, a far-sighted client opted to bring archiNOW! in on a project to revamp a dilapidated old building and turn it into a key part of the area, dynamically interacting with the context. The zone is a mix of factories, businesses and homes, but sorely needed public spaces where people could gather and enjoy a sense of community. The decision to refurbish an existing building is paradigmatic of the approach to regenerating this built-up area. Banks are often closed, silent structures that jealously guard their own land, rather like forts, but this time, the building is open, interconnected, permeable and transparent, a cultural and social magnet for the area. The exteriors lead into the surrounds, encouraging people to enjoy their time together through urban furniture, flowerbeds, water features, and covered walkways, some heading to the parking lot. They also connect to the adjacent shopping arcade and a small amphitheater. The public is invited into these spaces, helping to regenerate the local urban fabric and encouraging social interaction. Modelling the existing volume was central to the new design, forging solids and voids with meticulous additions and subtractions from this original.The exterior composition drew heavily on a careful analysis of the surrounds, with an identifiable, raised silhouette in a uniform, neutral hue that merges into the local area, almost like a silent, measured presence. At the same time, the façades have their own, syncopated rhythm created by the placement of glazing and dry zinc and titanium panels in a pattern that echoes the fragmentation of this urban zone. The glazed ground-floor perimeter lightens the structure, creating visual permeability with the public areas and a rather charming sense of floating upper floors. At night, such transparency takes on a whole new meaning. The copper-tinged lighting turns the complex into an urban lantern, flooding the interiors with light to make them visible from the road. The interiors were planned using rigid functionality premised on integrating the traditional spaces of a bank with new outlooks for the future, such that informal meeting areas, breakout spaces and co-working areas are never in short supply.The basement level floor is dominated by a 180-seater auditorium equipped with the technology, acoustics and annexed spaces to host almost any event. Asset Banca's new headquarters thus become a dual invite. On the one hand, the public are welcomed back into the public spaces around the building. On the other, the bank is showing, through this experience, how a bank can become an open, innovative place that adds quality to the local area.
Location: Repubblica Di San Marino
Client: Asset Banca
Gross Floor Area: 4,500 m2
External Area: 2,400 m2
Cost of Construction: 15,000,000 Euros
Architects: archiNOW!, Marcello Dellarosa, Stella Andriani, Luca Foschi, Alessandro Gazzoni
Main Contractor: Sedi
Architectural and Structural Project: Antao Progetti, Roberto Ragini, Secondo Bernardi, Simone Casadei, Mirko Mancini
Mechnical end Electrical Plant: Antao Progetti, Fabio Romiti, Gianluca Minguzzi, Marino Casagrande
Glass Façade and Steel Platform Roof: Odine Manfroni
Glass Stair: Carlo Santambrogio, Roberto Cigada
Stone Floorings and Partitions: Arturo Calabria
Auditorium Acoustics and Special Plants: Sergio Luzzi, Lucia Busa, Enrico Moretti, Gianluca Forlani
Graphic Art and Communications: Muschi&Licheni
Consultants for the Client: Giancarlo Montemaggi, Guglielmo Zaffagnini
Electrical Fittings and Home Systems: BTicino
Stone Floorings and Partitions: Casone Group
Furniture: Vitra, Poltrona Frau, Riva 1920, Fritz Hansen
Façade Infill: WMZinc
Glazed Curtain Wall, Filter and Sun-shading Systems: BGT, Sefar AG, Model System
Green Roof: Climagrun
Glass Staircase: Actual Design
Construction of Timber Auditorium and Made-to-measure Furniture: Montemaggi Design
Façade Frames: Schüco
Sound-proof Partitions: Fantoni Group
Photography: © Giovanni De Sandre - GDS
archiNOW! was born when a number of leading architects, who had worked for major practices in Italy and abroad, decided to set up a new practice in Rimini in 2012 that reflected their approach to architecture. archiNOW! is more like an artisan workshop and store in which any idea is molded by many hands - literally at times, with models, materials and prototypes as well as figuratively, with technical drawings and renderings - before becoming reality.
However, this is not a narrowly focused artisan enterprise for a single sector, as the practice has tackled projects for urban and public space regeneration, the service and residential sectors, and temporary structures in industries as diverse as hospitality and design. The practice defines itself by its integral approach and the detail of its architectural composition, designed right down to the smallest details of the furnishings and interior accessories. This has led to the practice working with leading companies in the industrial design sector.
Finally, the company also actively takes part in architectural competitions. For example, it was in the competition for a highway overpass by Anas S.p.A. (selected for the final stage), for the Bussa flyover in Milan, for the headquarters of Gas SGR in Rimini (both projects receiving mentions), for a school in Merano and the Briosco library (Monza province).