New structures transformed the small 1950’s building that faces an urban park area from its privileged location along a riverbank. The project evolved in different phases and over an extended period of time following the business’ growth, which required expansion of new designing and manufacturing areas for eyewear prototypes.
The additions are physically attached to the original building and resulted in re-organization of the interior spaces, yet are, at the same time, separate volumetric spaces that were designed according to a specific structural philosophy. There is a clear reference to light frame and balloon-frame constructions, and special attention has been given to junctions to the pre-existing building. The primary physical connection between the old and new parts is the rusted steel cylindrical shell that envelops the spiral staircase: a foreign object that contaminates the old building and leads us into the new structure to which it belongs.
The designer’s workspace on the upper level projects towards the precious, native beauty of nature that starts at the riverbank and flows into the private space. Consequently, the structure includes different elements such as the gluelam timber beams that are sustained by stainless steel shaped columns, which themselves support the outdoor balcony and the indoor loft at an essential juncture. An aspect of continuity connects both inside and outside on this level, as well as on the main level where the inner space extends all the way out onto the wooden floor slab outdoors.
The idea was to use a limited number of materials that possessed strong aesthetic qualities and a sensitive tactile presence: stainless steel was used in all areas where corrosion resistance was required; rusted iron was used in the frames and for cladding inner spaces.
Larch was used for planking and panelling, and treated differently for different areas: it was planed for indoor purposes, burned and brushed where vapor lingers in the sauna and shower, and left with a saw-cut finish on outdoor applications.
The volumetric spaces added later respond to the need to create workspace for the prototypes: the framework was built in metal and filled with recycled bricks. The suspended structure rests on four reinforced concrete basements that rise from the pool that is fed by a pre-existing artesian well. Water falls from a series of sprinklers that are placed in the platform reveal and soundproofs the workspace from urban noise pollution.
Location: Vicenza, Italy
Design Team: E.G. Kleres, G. Muňoz, C. Person, A. Cipriano
Structural Analysis: M. Milan, M. Montanari, G. Pirocca
Construction Firms: Bios Costruzioni, Quaggiotto Ermanno
Interior Furnishings: Essequattro
Client: Roberto Saccardo srl
Project year: 2007