Fine living, Italian style
Castel San Pietro Terme is a small town of around 20,000 inhabitants, known since ancient times for the therapeutic properties of its waters. The town stands along the Via Emilia, some 20 km from Bologna, and on the “Wine and Food Road”, a route of gastronomic specialties that winds through the hills and valleys of the borderland between Emilia and Romagna, where the art of vine growing has been passed down from generation to generation since ancient times.
The town is also home to Cantine Sgarzi, wine makers since 1933, when they began supplying nearby Bologna’s best “osterias” with wine from barrels carried by horse-drawn carts. Genuine quality, continuity and respect for tradition have formed the basis for the company’s success, but what really projected Cantine Sgarzi to international fame was their early decision to promote Italian wine and wine culture around the world. The company now has a thriving export business and a network of distributors in over 80 countries.
Cantine Sgarzi’s HQ faithfully reflects this dialogue between past and future. The house where the Sgarzi family has lived since the early nineteenth century still lies immersed in vineyards; alongside is an extraordinarily modern complex complete with exhibition areas, underground wine cellars, a large production plant and new offices with a roof completely covered in photovoltaic panels. The visual unity of the complex is the result of careful selection of materials and clever design. The building attractively complements its vineyard surroundings and makes a significant contribution to sustainability and environmental responsibility through energy saving and power generation.
The structure was designed by Alberto Castellari of Archistudio and completed in collaboration with Promo as the lead contractor. It consists of two main blocks characterised by façades in which large glass areas alternate with sections of prefabricated panels in wood and other materials. The blocks are interconnected by a glass-enclosed walkway at office level and a pergola style roof along the south side. The east block houses the representation and visitor reception functions while the west is home to sales and administration. A round tower contains accommodation for guests and a meeting room with a panoramic view.
The building envelope combines tradition and modernity, thanks to the use of large, laminar wood beams combined with ceramic floors and external wall coverings in larch wood with contrasting laminate panels and sheets of zinc-titanium, all extremely weather resistant. A large glass section in the south façade visually links the inside and outside and allows the surrounding countryside to be enjoyed from the tasting room. This is a place of special fascination where the warm colours of wood ceilings and display units are enhanced by a floor in minimalist yet appealing Lappata tiles from the Basaltina Stone Project collection, reminiscent of natural stone. The same colour and surface finish, this time provided by large, 100×300 tiles from the Basaltina Stone Project Slimtech collection, repeat on the stairs and bar counter, again combined with wood in an extremely natural setting.
Numerous openings in the side of the building offer striking perspective glimpses of the countryside towards the production plant. The “leitmotiv” of transparency is maintained by luminous interiors, segregated only by crystal glass partitions that amplify the overall effect and enhance the wood grain pattern of the perimeter walls and floors, a motif elegantly reflected by office floors in 20×120 cm Rovere Decapè porcelain tiles from the Bioessenze collection, again by Lea Ceramiche.
Lea Ceramiche, Basaltina Slimtech; Basaltina Stone Project; Bioessenze
100x300, 60x60, 60x120, 20x120 cm
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤ 0,04%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): UHA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): ≤ 145 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): ≥ 3000 N
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant