The metro of the future
Crew Cremonesi Workshop
Officially opened in March 2013, Brescia’s metro is a light railway line that connects the northern and south-eastern districts of the city, passing through the old city centre.
There are a total of seventeen stations, thirteen of which are entirely underground. Six of these are deep-level stations and four cut-and-cover type stations; two are at ground level and two are on viaducts. Designed by the local practice CREW – CREmonesi Workshop, the stations consist of large open spaces without intermediate floors. Natural lighting is provided by large skylights which are specially designed and sized to ensure that light can penetrate down to the platforms as deep as twenty metres underground.
For reasons relating to the area of the city in which they are located, the stations of San Faustino, Vittoria and Lamarmora are based on more traditional models.
One of the key aims of the project was to meet the functional and aesthetic needs of the deep-level station while seeking visually appealing solutions that would convey a sense of reliability, tranquillity, orderliness and clarity. At the same time it had to address the all-too-real problems of these locations that are often associated with an image of decay and neglect.
„When designing the stations, we maintained a strong focus on the key architectural concept of liveability,“ explained engineer Lamberto Cremonesi. „Taking the word liveability in its broadest material, psychological and spiritual sense. Knowing just how much a beautiful environment is able to influence positively the mood of the people who live there, we sought to create pleasant spaces with light-coloured, luminous materials and to ensure that the destinations would be immediately apparent.“
The architects achieved the goal of environmental comfort by painstakingly seeking cohesion between all the technical components and accessories required for operation of the structure, including the vertical connecting systems, the transparent protection elements, the panels covering inspectable parts and the safety doors. At the same time they strived to ensure functional and aesthetic consistency of both the station interiors and the above-ground sections. This included a harmonious spatial concept, unified volumes, clearly defined routes, well-lit platforms, aesthetic consistency and ease of maintenance of the finishes.
The interior walls feature a ventilated façade cladding with special 14 mm thick porcelain tiles from Cotto d’Este, produced using a unique manufacturing process. Pressed three times and fired at 1230°C for more than 90 minutes, these ceramic tiles have excellent technical and performance characteristics, including outstanding surface wear resistance, very high breaking load and thermal shock resistance, and strong aesthetic appeal.
Specially designed and manufactured to meet the specifications of the project in terms of size, materials and colour, a total of 16,000 square metres of these tiles were used in the project. They stand out in particular for their unique peach skin surface texture and their pale grey colour, a bright, uniform shade that makes a vital contribution to the environmental quality of the spaces.
Cotto d'Este, 14 mm thick porcelain tile
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): <0,05%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): ULA-UHA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): <134 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): compliant
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant