"La Cartiera" Shopping Centre - Pompei (NA)

A shopping centre with its roots in industrial archaeology

Built on the site of a disused paper mill, the shopping centre fits perfectly into the surrounding urban history
Laura Franceschi
Studio F 64
Design International Corvino & Multari
Year of completion

In such a unique historical setting as the urban centre of the modern-day city of Pompei, the La Cartiera shopping centre is a place that offers a modern shopping experience while maintaining strong ties with local history.
Created by remodelling and converting the disused Aticarta paper mill (the shopping centre’s name La Cartiera means “paper mill” in Italian), it has 115 shops, an inviting food court, 2,100 hidden parking spaces and a large open green space.
As noted by the architects who built it, Corvino+Multari of Naples and Design International of Milan, the project is a kind of “building-landscape” that posed a number of challenges due to its unique urban position.
The site extends along the right bank of the river Sarno and is located in an area of outstanding historical interest, adjacent to the Royal Bourbon Gunpowder Factory in the municipality of Scafati and not far from the ancient ruins of Pompei and the Shrine of the Virgin of the Rosary.
The close connection between history and modernity gave the developers the idea of restoring elements of local industrial archaeology and integrating them with the new building. For example, the paper mill’s old water lifting tower was restored and transformed into the symbol of the shopping centre, which also hosts a permanent exhibition about the old factory.
In the words of architect Roberto Sabiano from Design International, the project for La Cartiera followed “a complex process aimed at satisfying a variety of needs and creating a building with high spatial quality that fits perfectly into its habitat and is accepted by the community that lives there”.
To enable the mall project to combine its urban setting with principles of environmental sustainability, car parks were built on the ground floor out of the view of pedestrians, and a “green plaza” with pedestrian and bicycle access was created as a place for relaxation in the heart of the shopping area.
To recreate the urban effect, natural light was allowed to flow abundantly into the shopping centre through a high energy performance glazed roof (solar factor < 0.30), which reduces electrical energy consumption and allows the interiors to adapt to the conditions outside. Where it was not possible to build skylights, reflecting aluminium panels were used to limit the architectural impact and create plays of light that multiply the interiors of the building. The power of the light thus shapes the spaces through a series of compressions and expansions, which together with the floor designs created using Granitoker porcelain tiles from Casalgrande Padana (Loft and Metalwood series) avoid the monotony of overly straight pathways while alluding to the flow of the water in the adjacent river or the surrounding agricultural landscape. According to architect Vincenzo Corvino, the special techniques used to install the tiles "made it possible to create geometric shapes that fitted in with the gallery themes, while the characteristic Pompeii red colour enabled us to recreate the historic surfaces in the portion of the restored building". Like a permeable space, La Cartiera is open to its context and represents a new agora for the city of Pompei, overcoming the inside-outside duality and strengthening the relationship between the city and its surroundings.

Casalgrande Padana, Loft and Metalwood series
porcelain stoneware
10x60, 20x20, 30x30, 30x60
Loft: Rosso, Bianco, Grigio, Nero - Metalwood: Bronzo
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤ 0,1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): compliant
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): 50√∑60 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant
Certifications and awards
ISO 14001
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