Pontedera is a small city in the Province of Pisa, located on the Tuscan plain that runs from Pisa to Empoli and then on to Florence. The city’s old town features examples of forward-looking contemporary architecture intimately inspired by the proportions and materiality of the past. This project repurposes and refurbishes a 1950s building that lies along one of the town’s main roads, Via Dante Alighieri, where a real estate company has decided to situate its management offices. Commissioned from the Mygg architects, the project features an interior refurbishment along with the creation of new urban frontage where the proportions and approach to the façade interface with the existing town center. Use of stone is the main key to interpreting this update of the building’s history. The project highlights and underlines the qualities of the building’s intrinsic perspective and position: situated at the crossroads of four streets, at a point where the main road widens out, from a variety of observation points the building displays a compact volumetric solidity imbued with monumental heft. The building’s volumetric essentiality is enhanced by the use of golden Santafiora stone from the upper Lazio region, in an extremely simple and legible compositional pattern broken up and interspersed by the strict counterpoint of large windows with deep burnished brass profiles that cadence the structure’s thickness and cladding. Burnished brass also provides relief by digging into the velarium, through the artifice of a bas relief that reveals the depth of the wall as stratified material, in the process strengthening the corners through subtraction and strips. This material forms a strong, compact wall that conveys monumentality and power from afar; close up, it displays a range of closely-packed colors that boast an incredibly changeable grain, with the delicate yellows in the stone, abraded mechanically, resulting in delicate pink hues. The overall effect is enhanced by proximity to the burnished brass panels. Just as the façade adopts the rhythms and proportions of the city, the interior, stylistically and functionally redesigned throughout, references a number of the external architecture’s stylistic cues in terms of geometry, composition and materials. The interior features Italian Calacatta marble, white with gilded veining; Spanish Dark Emperador marble; and honey-colored onyx from Iran, all of which characterize the representative environments of the lobby and monumental staircase, managerial rooms and meeting rooms. The essential elegance of the interior and the powerful simplicity of the façades succeed in being both classic and contemporary at the same time, capable of speaking the language of the past and of the future, while at the same time fitting in as a key component of the urban fabric.
Location: Pontedera, Pisa
Completion Date: 2015
Gross Floor Area: 800 m2
Construction Management: Alfredo Signorini
Client and Main Contractor: Sinesviluppo
Structural Consultant: Mauro Signorini
Stone External Cladding: Consorzio Santafiora
Onyx External Cladding: Prometech
Façade: AS (Casagrande Lorenzo)
Furniture: Cartacci Arredamenti
Photography: © Daniele Domenicali, courtesy of MYGG
Doors and Windows Frames: Secco Sistemi
External Cladding: KME
MYGG was founded in Milan in 2012 as a synergy of the different but complimenting expertise of Giovanni Feltrin, Gerardo Sannella and Yolanda Velasco. Having a collaborative company structure and an integrated approach to all projects of any scale, from the most prestigious to the most personal assignment, the clients of MYGG span both the public and private sectors. MYGG enjoys a truly international staff of 20 architects. The broad design experience of its team allows for an intimate knowledge of contemporary international architecture and the ability to interpret a variety of architectural genres, spanning a broad spectre of fields from private housing to commercial, office, hospitality and entertainment. The continuous exploration of new avenues in the field of contemporary design makes MYGG a forward thinking and dynamic practice, always seeking to innovate its approach and adapting its language and design to each specific context, paying tribute to classic and modern architecture.