Should we stop consuming or start consuming with respect? Green Pea is the first Green Retail Park in the world, based on the idea of respect for the environment and harmony with nature and hosts 15.000 sqm retailing and facilities whose production, distribution and sale strategies are oriented towards sustainability and social responsibility issues. The building of Green Pea thus transferred this vision to architecture becoming an example to follow for retail buildings, a field rarely attentive to sustainability.
ACC Naturale Architettura and Negozio Blu Architetti conceived a symbolic architecture to give shape to this strategic vision. The main goal was to create a highly sustainable building stressing its symbolic architectural identity: a sort of manifesto of a new way of producing and consuming that enhances Made in Italy and is more in harmony with nature. Following the payoff of Green Pea, 'From duty to beauty', respect for the environment and the human being are reflected in precise design choices that look at the life cycle of what is built, circular energy and recycle strategies: Green Pea uses dry systems and new technologies, natural, recycled and recyclable materials and makes green a basic element of its construction. The sustainability of Green Pea is declined through the architectural shape, the use of materials and paintings, the non-mimetic presence of green, the recyclable supporting structure and the energy supply. Green Pea is also an important piece of an overall regeneration project for a disused industrial area close to the former Fiat Lingotto factory, turning it into an environmentally-friendly vivid urban place and bringing nature back in town.
The building is a multifaceted volume spread over five floors for a height of 25 m in continuity with the existing building line. The North-South orientation and the flared shape of the top floor are designed to adapt to climatic and environmental conditions, ensuring the best distribution of solar radiation.
The external envelope consists of a double level of surfaces. An external shell of wooden brise-soleil slats forms a technical "treillage" acting as a filter between inside and outside allowing the building to breathe, open up to the city and protect itself from the sun. The slats, heat-treated for external use and stiffened by a metal core, were made with fir wood recovered from the forests of the North-East Italy, destroyed by a storm in 2018.
The internal shell, made up of an infill of KVH solid wood sandwich panels, insulated with wood fiber and covered by recycled aluminium sheets, is cut by large glass surfaces flooding the interiors with natural light.
The load-bearing structure is made of steel, a 100% recyclable material, and is entirely dry assembled by bolts, so as to be easily dismantled and removed, allowing in the long term the extension of the building life cycle.
Green Pea is a green building in the guiding principles of its architecture but also visually. The wooden brise-soleil allow ample amounts of green to filter through, covering the terraces extensively. The building thus appears as a natural organism that vibrates according to light and to the plants growth. The layout of the various floors designs flexible spaces, immediately identifiable paths and relationship with the external greenery and widely welcomes
natural light. Greenery is inserted through the organic texture of the wooden façades, becoming part of the architecture. Green, not used in a mimetic way, grows in the terraces where tall trees are planted in large tanks. The vegetation was selected to be suitable for the climate and microclimate of the different façades, favoring native plants and Italian flora.
The large equipped garden roof is characterized by a bioclimatic greenhouse, a spa and a club dedicated to Creative Idleness.
Inside, 4 floors are dedicated to the sale of durable goods produced through environmentally friendly processes, encompassing supplier management, brand management, building process, packaging and customer experience: clean energy vehicles (1st fl.), ecological furniture (2nd fl.) and clothing made of natural fibers (3rd fl. and 4th fl.).
The 57 stores are flanked by 3 catering venues. On the ground floor, the Discovery Museum, a small and didactic exhibition, creates a new awareness of a more responsible consumption. The interiors feature traditional materials such as natural lime and wood combined with luxury materials such as leather and velvets. The parquet is made with wood already felled for natural causes and then picked up along the river beds of the Val Varaita. The circularity of the wood used both in exterior brise-soleil and in the interiors is the most important sustainability aspect of the project.
The paintings used neutralizes pollutants, prevents growth of mold and microbes and eliminates germs. Without forgetting the industrial past of this important area of the city, the load-bearing structures is deliberately left exposed.
Green Pea offers a broad panorama of energy production through renewable sources: geothermal wells, photovoltaic panels, mini wind turbines, smart flowers, up to piezoelectric floors capturing kinetic energy generated by the passage of users.
The building obtained a score of the Italian Itaca Protocol of 3.5 and create a NZEB Building in class A3.
- Heating requirement 1.900.967,095 kWh of which 1.684.066,75 kWh produced from geothermal plant
- Domestic hot water requirement 187.484,77 kWh of which 164.630,38 kWh produced from geothermal
- Electricity requirement 156.232,20 kWh of which produced 140.530,59 kWh by photovoltaics.
Cristiana Catino design research is focused on respect for the environment and relationship between buildings, materials, nature and well-being. She was partner of Negozio Blu with which she has designed numerous works including the first Eataly in Turin. Since 1995 she has specialized in bio-architecture and in 2016 she created ACC Naturale Architettura. Among the most significant projects the socio-cultural center Workout Pasubio (Parma, 2016), the Fontanafredda hotel (Alba, 2017), restoration and interior design, urban and landscape redevelopments.
Negozio Blu Architetti Associati is currently run by Gustavo Ambrosini, Paola Gatti and Carlo Grometto. They have carried out interventions of urban redevelopment and industrial buildings, innovative retail (Eataly), tertiary (Santander Consumer Bank, Codebò), as well as numerous residential interventions in Turin and in the Alpine area, fittings and interior design; in 2020 they completed the Gesù Maestro parish complex in Racalmuto.
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