Nuovo Teatro Dell'Opera - Firenze

A new home for Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

The Nuovo Teatro dell'Opera complex is an international-level opera house and an urban space that interacts with the city and its history
Roberta Chionne
Year of completion

As part of Florence’s new Music and Culture Park, the Nuovo Teatro dell’Opera is not just a state-of-the-art musical venue but also an important interface between the developed and green areas of Florence and will serve as the new venue for the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino arts festival.
One of the works undertaken to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy, the park project was awarded to Rome-based architects Studio A.B.D.R. and contractors Sac Spa and Igit Spa. The proposed design creates a complex web of pathways and structures with clear-cut, angular profiles that emerge like metaphysical presences from the carpet of material that defines the paths and extends up the walls of the buildings.
The Nuovo Teatro dell’Opera building, officially opened on 21 December 2011 at a concert conducted by Zubin Mehta, is dramatically angled and features a 2,000-seat open-air rooftop auditorium offering breathtaking views of the city. Inside it has a seating capacity for 1,800 people in a truncated cone-shaped hall with an elliptical base.
The auditorium building will have seating capacity for 1,100 people and will likewise have an accessible roof, although to date only the structure has been completed. The two buildings are connected by a vast inclined plane and are part of a system of paths and public spaces extending at various heights to form an artificial park whose colours and materials were chosen to resonate with those of the historic squares of Florence.
To emulate the appeal of Florentine marble, artificial stone surfaces were specially developed in collaboration with two ceramic tile manufacturers.
The low volumes and all the exterior pavings, as well as the foyer and internal distribution spaces, are clad with ceramic tiles developed by Cotto d’Este and inspired by cipolin marble — porcelain tiles for the pavings and kerlite porcelain laminate for the wall coverings. The wall tiles were developed from authentic marble slabs specially chosen by the architects, which the ceramic company reproduced in kerlite sheets with a thickness of just a few millimetres using a screen printing process.
The sole vertical volume, which houses the fly tower, the offices and the restaurant, is clad with tiles inspired by another material from the Florentine tradition, this time terracotta, developed in cooperation with Sannini Impruneta. To speed up production, the decision was taken to eliminate the washing stage and proceed directly to the glazing process, which involved two colour applications specially chosen for the project. Mounted using a dry anchoring technique at a distance of about 80 cm from the underlying masonry, these tiles create a striking second skin that is especially spectacular at night when the lights inside make the building glow like a giant urban lantern.

Cotto d'Este, Kerlite Plus
porcelain stoneware
50x150 cm
Cipollino Bianco - Cipollino Grigio
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0,1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): ULA, 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): >120 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant
Certifications and awards
ISO 14001
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