The town hall occupies a nodal position on the edge of the walled historic center of Bastia Umbra: it stands at the extreme south of the main square, as a hinge between the ancient core, the next village and the space of the old Forum boarium, overlooked by disused agricultural-productive buildings. The nineteenth-century municipal building, on the west side of the block, was in a good state of qualification and integrated into the surrounding architectural context, but the most recent building, on the south end, built in the early 1960s by demolishing the existing Sciarra house, was rather heterogeneous in comparison to the historical elevations, due to the design and the finishes, and, above all, unusable due to static problems. The arrangement of the vertical connections was inadequate, consisting of a small atrium and stairwell with insufficient natural lighting. Moreover: heterogeneous finishes by type and conservation; non-integrated elements of the building systems; a limited possibility of using the attic; inadequate services. Together with the decisive structural deficiencies, especially from a seismic perspective, the conditions of the twentieth-century building were deemed incompatible with its strategic urban role. The three main objectives of the project concern the seismic retrofitting, systems upgrading and the energy efficiency of the building. These goals can be taken as an opportunity to also improve distribution and finishes, obtaining an overall redevelopment and strengthening of the building role in the urban context. The architectural project adopts the structural choices that are essential to achieve the required degree of safety and, at the same time, provides for improvement of the internal environments, external elevations and materials, reassembled in an organic framework, in order to contribute to the further qualification of the context. For example, the bracing with dissipators, provided for by the structural design, constitute the most evident element of the reinforcement intervention and can be reinterpreted, in some points, as a specific architectural theme, leaving them exposed. The necessary reinforcement of the pillars, by contracting some passages in the corridors, suggests rethinking the distribution and sequence of the rooms. The new roof in metal beams and wood, in addition to lightening loads and improving thermal performance, makes possible the full recovery in use of the attic. More generally, the architectural redevelopment of the building can be referred to four themes: the redefinition of the elevations; rationalization of accesses and connections; the reorganization of distribution; the requalification of the finishes. The expansion of the height of the existing windows is accompanied by the insertion of a new opening in the stairwell, on the north-east front, with a continuous vertical cut. The main access to the building, raised one meter above the square, is confirmed. A new external ramp, along the north-east side, overcomes the difference in height with the public space. A new lift is relocated in the shaft in contact with the stairwell. The connecting staircase between the second floor and the attic is also rebuilt, improving its progress and finishes. The greatest impact operation, on the interior space, concerns the entrance hall: a double volume is created in the atrium by demolishing a part of ceiling. In this way, in addition to increasing the brightness, the mutual visibility between the common spaces is allowed: the entrance and reception on the ground floor, the offices of the Mayor and the Council, the municipal council room on the first floor. The wall that defines the atrium space on the west side is slightly rotated respect to the main orthogonal directions; in this way, the direction of the eastern edge of the pre-existing historic building up to the 1960s is recalled, directing the view from the entrance. The balustrades overlooking the atrium are glazed to increase lightness and minimize visual obstacles. The wall of the stairwell is also crossed by a full-height window, in order to increase intervisibility and natural brightness. For the same reasons, the iron grates on the entrance and balcony were removed, replaced by windows. All the interior spaces are characterized by the search for visual continuity, through cuts and windows, following the uniformity of the materials used: wooden floors and white plaster walls, lighting fixtures homogeneous for dimensions and finishes. The only exception is the wall of city council room facing on the atrium, covered with wooden slats and visible, as a singular element, from the entrance to the building through the full-height atrium.
EXUP s.r.l. is an engineering company established in 2009 in Umbertide (PG), born from the merger of three associated firms. EXUP curriculum includes projects of public and private architecture, architectural restoration and consolidation of historical artifacts, integrated design of industrial works and infrastructures.
Our architectural reflection are based on the city and time: for us, good architecture cannot renounce confrontation and reflection with them.
The themes we are passionate about are construction technique, sustainability, modernity, understood as the ability to choose, and study of detail.
In 2014 Exup received the M.A.R.I.E. prize for the environmental sustainability of two projects realized and in 2015 won the first prize for the "New ONAOSI College" design competition. Since 2018 we are GBC Italia members.
The staff consists of 26 people; our works are located in Italy, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Germany, Argentina and Brazil.
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