The site of this mixed-use project is situated within the urban extension related to the long and diffuse conurbation of the Adriatic coast.
The building lies upon a rectangular lot along the east-west direction, bordering the sea. The project’s location and functional requirements could have been perceived as disadvantages at first sight.
The morphological aspects of the site, stretched along a longitudinal axis with the presence of a very high building bordering the southern side. The program called for the use of the ground floor for equipment and services for the cinema, resulting in the need for a completely free connection to the ground.
Photographs by Alessandro Ciampi
The layout of the plan and the treatment of the enclosure are a direct answer to the client’s requirements with the restrictive constraints of the site and environment. The vertical circulation, accessing the upper floors was place in front, on the building’s main façade. The ground floor becomes a continuous space free from hurdles.
Ground floor plan
With large sized buildings blocking the light, the architect opted for a glazed enclosure. He varied the angles of the glass panels to bring in the light as required by the functions contained inside the building.
As he explains: “This skin bends and ‘flakes’; it is a visual protection screen and a light capturing device at the same time. This is the place of reflections and reverberations; windows disappear whereas flakes define cuts and projections, a surface with a sort of thickness of its own in which jutting openings face onto the sea, like sighting posts.”
On its upper floor, the building houses “holiday flats”. Since the building shape is very long, the architect was inspired by the layout on cruise ships; the access to all flats is provided by a long “bridge” on the last floor, linking to the living areas of the flats.
The open space living room-kitchen is connected to the rooms downstairs with stairs in wood and iron (below deck) but one may as well go upstairs on the deck/terrace on the upper floor. The residential complex “floats” upon a ground floor which is totally empty and dematerialized, connected to earth by means of a long glass wall.
The architect wanted to contrast the building with its surrounding neoclassical buildings He says that the treatment of the elevations originally derived from functional requirements, they were also “an excuse to measure our skills against the heritage of projects and works gave us by the Italian architects of the 50s and 60s. A period in history, that was extremely interesting since we faced hybridism, multiplicity, and uncertainty.”