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Nardini Headquarters

Massimiliano & Doriana Fuksas

Nardini Headquarters
By Redazione The Plan -

The Distilleria Nardini is enlarging to include a new auditorium, in an underground area, and two transparent elliptical structures that hover above a stretch of water surrounded by American oaks planted in the seventies. A ramp leads visitors to a below-ground section with rough-cut walls whose “skylights” give onto the water feature filtering light from above.  The entrance, theatre and other spaces have been dug out of a bank of alluvional gravel.
The most striking feature of the complex, however, is the two, different size “bubbles”. Set at an angle to each other, they rest on slender slanting columns rising from the reinforced concrete walls of the underground hall. “The whole project needed a base and a backbone. The slanting elevator immediately appeared the solution”, says Massimiliano Fuksas. Built on a steel slab, the staircase crosses the water, linking two worlds: one, the light-flooded bubbles (transparent, glazed structures) with right-around views of the park and its research labs; the other, the “submerged” auditorium, carved out of the earth to form a canyon (100 seat auditorium accessed by a ramp that can serve as an outdoor theatre). The two areas can become one single arena surrounded by the irregular line of the sloping walls. Near the entrance, the water throws up reflections under the bubbles. The underwater skylights that filter daylight to the underground spaces at night become light sources. The asymmetry of the architectural elements creates a variety of views: the staggered ellipses, the slanted elevation, the suspended staircase, and the turns of the entrance ramp.
Key structural elements include the rough cut reinforced concrete load bearing walls of the underground levels, the ellipse-shaped “bubbles” with curved steel rib superstructure, and the H-beams of the foundation that give the bubbles their curved shape. As well as connecting all levels, the slanting elevator shaft constitutes the support point for the floors. The...

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