Studio Quaranta ing. Luigi - Picco Studio - AI Studio - Rosental Studio
The preparations for the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin saw a major focus on architecture with projects that involved both the sports facilities (stadiums and other competition venues created by designers such as Arata Isozaki) and hospitality buildings for athletes, delegations and journalists. The Olympic Games were seen as an opportunity to carry through functional improvement programmes for Turin and the Piedmont region. As an additional challenge, the designers had to make the facilities and buildings functionally very flexible or at least easy to convert once the Olympic games were over. This applied equally to the Oval, the ice rink designed by the firm Zoppini, and the Olympic Village for the athletes. The latter project, coordinated by Benedetto Camerana, involved redeveloping the former fruit and vegetable market, a prestigious building with rigorous architecture designed by Umberto Cuzzi in 1934, as well as introducing new buildings following strict urban remediation policies.
Likewise, the Media Village provided an opportunity to combine a large-scale building project with specific requirements. The village used to host journalists is located in a large urban redevelopment zone near the river Dora, an area previously occupied by heavy industry (Fiat, Michelin, Officine Savigliano) and for years an icon of the city of Turin. The objective of the municipal council’s Urban Redevelopment Programme was to build a section of city that would communicate with the park on the redeveloped banks of the river Dora. The Media Village buildings would subsequently be converted from rooms for the approximately 1500 journalists accredited to cover the Olympic Games to residential buildings, a portion of which were to be set aside for community housing. The project for the area once occupied by the Michelin factories reflects the historic urban growth mechanism, highlighting the differences between the groups of buildings and stratifying the urban and architectural layout, which features residences and small and medium-scale commercial hubs with plenty of communal services.
The Spina 3 section of the Michelin area saw the involvement of architectural firms Rosental, Erbetta (studio AI), Picco and Quaranta. As regards the transformability of the accommodations, the individual units of the mini-residences were recombined to form housing units (about 900) of various sizes, for sale or rent or set aside for underprivileged segments of the population. As for the correlation and differentiation between buildings, the Spina 3 complex consists of three high-rise buildings (tower blocks with up to 21-22 floors and a height of 76 metres) and six low-rise buildings. The architecture conveys a sense of complexity through the facades and the differentiated heights, even within the same high-rise elements, thereby replicating the chronological stratification of urban growth. The fronts of both the low and high-rise buildings accentuate the interaction between the grid of balconies and loggias that project from the perimeter line and the façade surfaces. The walls of the high-rise buildings combine plaster and facing brick along with a significant use of ceramic tiles as ventilated facades. This architectural solution considerably improves the building’s energy efficiency and makes a major contribution to sustainable development. The Enduro series 60×60 cm large-format tiles from Marazzi, in colours Neon and Rodio – supplied together with the fixing system – stand out on the vertical facades, combining the repetitive, regular pattern of the geometric composition with the wealth of colours featured on the large and complex covered surfaces (4,000 sq.m on tower block 1 and 2,500 sq.m on tower block 3, including the Oceani and Panda series in delicate, elegant colours).