In the blue, painted blu…
A place of transit, a multipolar arrival and departure space where each passenger leaves indelible traces of life, the airport is an all-absorbing and self-sufficient space. But given its relatively recent history, it also a non-place, an evolving building typology that combines advanced technology with a future-oriented architectural language.
The project to enlarge the passenger terminal of Bergamo’s Orio al Serio airport came as a response to the sharp increase in traffic and involved the construction of new buildings connected to the existing airport. The new spaces comprised waiting rooms, additional gates and shopping areas. The airport was originally built in the mid-thirties as a military base. The first airfield in the province of Bergamo was built in 1911 (in Osio Sotto) and others followed during the First World War. In 1949 a city committee along with several banks financed the construction of a civil airport. SACBO (Bergamo — Orio al Serio Civil Airport Company) was set up in the seventies.
The airport terminal is an expanding structure that is destined to change configuration and dimensions. The project must be based on a model of a machine that is capable of growing and expanding over time. It is a kind of microscopic city, a node of transit integrated into a network of international services.
The aim of this specific project was to create a space that would not only be capable of hosting and offering temporary hospitality to passengers, but would also offer opportunities for shopping, eating and relaxation. In this context, the quality of materials and degree of finish of the general commercial areas had to be adequate for the task.
The challenge facing the architect was to lend dignity and importance to the architecture within the context of an infrastructure where all superfluity, however appealing, may be functionally inappropriate and contrary to the strict safety regulations.
The identifying element is that of a place where large numbers of people transit. It is a world of global nomadism where people travel towards airports scattered all over the world, so recognisability of the place is fundamental for passengers. If the material used for the floor covering evokes the impression of a natural environment, this will help fix the location in passengers’ memory and instil a stronger sense of security.
In this respect, Basaltina Nera 60×120 cm porcelain tiles from Mirage’s Stones 2.0 collection proved a particularly effective choice. Furthermore, the technical characteristics of the tiles make them suitable for high-traffic spaces as they are capable of maintaining their aesthetic quality over time.