Casa Virtus in Bologna
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Casa Virtus in Bologna

A Residence for Athletes

Antonio Iascone

By Francesco Pagliari -

The Casa Virtus Alfasigma project in Bologna responds to the Virtus Pallacanestro company’s desire to build a campus for basketball players on its roster and young hopefuls, as a way of further improving team spirit.
The Bologna City Council ceded its use rights to a plot of municipal land, offering Virtus a site to construct the building. The process was economically supported by the Arco Campus company.
The Antonio Iascone & Partners Practice looked after every stage of design for the entire residence, embracing the new structure’s functional targets and needs. Ongoing interaction between the designers and clients made it possible to work closely together on establishing the formal and esthetic specifications of the residence, while at the same time keeping to budget. The Practice’s design, which features abundant references to the team’s symbols, ranging from the letter V to the team colors of black and white and the rhomboid geometry of the nets beneath the baskets, is based on the overall total volume set by the City of Bologna.
The design incorporates these various elements into the work through solutions that, while reinterpreting them, combine esthetic and functional needs as decoration meets functionality: in front of the facades is a weave of painted tubular piping that, in an expressive sequence of lozenges, offers protection from the sun’s rays. The main elevation of the guest house features a weave of white lozenges against the black background of the wall, on which it spells out the team name. The weave of piping on the short elevations forms a negative version of the letter V for Virtus.
In terms of functional distribution, the building spans two levels: the upper floor hosts athletes’ quarters, with their own bathrooms, shared kitchenettes and an area for eating together; the ground floor has been set aside as office space (something that was not originally in the plan). Common areas are also located on the ground floor, offering an immersive experience of the team’s history and fostering interaction and dialogue among players, as well as providing a focal point for the Fondazione Virtus’ operating synergies.
The guest house is located close by the landmark Porelli Gym. Opened originally in the 1970s, the gym has long served as the team’s training ground. The Iascone Practice set about creating a visible link between the previous and new building by cladding the gym’s elevations in the same tubular protection as the guest house. Now, all of the buildings on the campus state their identity as part of the Virtus family: they declare that they are part of the team.
The campus also features an outdoor basketball court, and car parking for the entire complex.

Location: Bologna
Client: Arco Campus – Gruppo IGD SIIQ
Completion: 2018
Gross Floor Area: 1,400 m2
Cost of Construction: 2,400,000 Euros
Architects: Antonio Iascone & Partners
Design Team: Andrea Gadani, Elisa Corradetti (Project Leaders) Elisa Corradetti, Paolo Chierici, Riccardo Cazzaniga 
Works Management: Antonio Iascone, Elisa Corradetti
Contractor: IBA Centro Meridionale

Luca Turrini
Electrical Systems: Proel, Francesco Piergiovanni
Mechanical: Pool Progetti, Francesco Petroncini
Landscape: Studio Silva               

Window Frames: 
Splendore Granella & Camero
Metal works: Carpenmetal 
Ceramic floors and coverings: Gruppo Romani
Lifts: Ceam

Special electric supplies:  Vimar

Photography: © Fabio Mantovani


Antonio Iascone was born in Bologna in 1960, where he graduated in 1985 in Construction Engineering.
In 1988 he founded Antonio Iascone Ingegneri Architetti, a design studio with a team of collaborators between architects and engineers with different skills, for a multidisciplinary approach to the architectural project and its realization.
Over the years, the firm has developed numerous collaborations with research institutes, specialized consultants and major international design firms, deepening and consolidating the concept of architecture as a place for meeting, research and relations.
Among these, in particular, the Department of Architecture and Territorial Planning of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Bologna as part of the consolidated collaboration, in addition to the evaluation of degree theses and initiatives for the promotion of architectural culture, Antonio Iascone is the proprietor of several seminars and modules including a Master's on "Sustainable Regeneration".
These activities are flanked by various publications on the subject of materials and architectural technologies, participation in numerous conferences and, from 2002 to 2012, he was curator of the "Technologies and materials" section of the international journal THE PLAN.
From 2012 to 2014 he was President of the Commission for Architectural Quality and Landscape (CQAP) of the Municipality of Bologna.
The growth of the firm and of the areas of development and realization of the projects together with the enlargement of the working team, has seen the study, during all these years, engaged in a continuous evolution in which it is now active as Antonio Iascone & Partners

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