Regio Parco is a rehabilitation project of an existing industrial compound. The original building, dating 1927, was damaged by the bombings of 1943 and rebuilt in 1950. The complex was abandoned becoming one of the most imposing, abandoned structures in this north-east city area. The considerable dimensions, dominating the town, proved to be the first, great design challenge. The former Pastore complex is a “hybrid”, which wants to maintain the features of the historic city: residential, commercial activities and public services. Its context is slowly transforming in different ways, with new top quality pieces in the urban mosaic. The main inspiration behind the project was to redevelop everything of any possible interest, attractive intended use and the creation of a lively identity.
The project is linked to the demands of architectural and structural restoration and to the current trends of “building in what is already built” to maintain the important industrial features of the building and its surrounding context. No less important due to the size of the plant and the new functions of the restored complex was its relationship with this part of the city and its urban fabric. The predicted and expected result was a hybrid building with mixed, differentiated functions, with specifications as yet unseen in the city. The architecture separates the functions by giving them strategic access points: the student accommodation highlighted by the dissection of the wall surface, the commercial function opening more on to Corso Novara, introduced by a new, open piazza.
The shared choice between designer and client was recovery rather than demolition. It is an important and not obvious choice: the building was not among those protected but, for us, it had an identity worthy of being preserved and renewed. A non-rhetorical sustainability, integrated by a structural and plant adaptation intervention in compliance with the morphological characteristics of the block.
Regio Parco is an urban hybrid block. The first building, abandoned and built during the twentieth century with subsequent extensions, is an industrial complex, which housed various productions.
The work by PICCO architetti has created an innovative transformation, where architecture is an integral part of a development operation with many challenges, begun by Taurus srl. Numerous questions were raised when new purposes were assigned that radically changed its intended use. They were technical, economic and linked to the best choices of the delicate update of the plant engineering and of the dated, poorly performing shell. The complex was initially divided into two. The compact wings of a large L-shaped piece of land wrap around Via Perugia and Via Padova culminating on Corso Novara. There are three storeys above ground, each measuring 4,500 m2 with a flat roof. A large, 5,500 m2 , onestorey building stands in the wide, central courtyard, and consists of two rooms side by side with a shed roof overhead. The office building, facing towards Corso Novara and protected by a blue, mosaic covered, exterior wall, acts as the entrance to the complex. The internal and external aesthetics are naturally industrial. The plain, patchwork street façades on the corner between Corso Novara and Via Perugia are broken by a continual succession of rhythmic windows, framed by structural elements that allow no room for any decoration.
These initiatives rely on the professionalism of everyone involved, from the developer to the designers, builders and operators, including investors. We had discussed with Camplus (the most important Italian player in student residences) the reuse of the former Pastore site, so we had a business model that would allow us to realise our programme. We expect to define a replicable model that will allow us to build student residences and enter what we believe to be a growing market for Turin.
PICCO architetti brings together design practice and research, from an urban scale to architecture, to create places for living, working, education, personal care and leisure as well as complex and innovative plans and schemes. Established in the 1990s, since the 2000s the firm has been committed to urban landscape design, site redevelopment and renovating disused buildings. The firm engages with urban scale projects, continuously diversifying its areas of engagement in coordination with interdisciplinary working groups; PICCO architetti has designed office complexes, commercial facilities and innovative manufacturing complexes in urban settings. In architetti has built elementary and secondary schools, university facilities,
libraries, sports and leisure facilities, mobility infrastructure and equipment. It participates in architectural competitions and invitational contests, many of which have resulted realized in Italy and abroad.