Space to Culture competition is about the refurbishment of the previous La Perla factory in Quarto Inferiore, Bologna. The original building was designed by the local architect Pierluigi Cervellati in the early Seventies and enlarged by the same Cervellati in the Nineties.
It is a valuable example of high-quality industrial architecture that aimed firstly to guarantee the well-being of workers inside and outside the building. The most relevant features of Cervellati’s project were: the layout of workspaces, that provided each worker with direct access to natural light; the clear distinction of service and served spaces, underlined by the variation of the architectural language; the quality of the outdoor space, with seats and “roof-gardens” integrated in the north side of the enclosure wall.
Quarto Inferiore and the surroundings of Bologna. Culture, connections, territory.
At a territorial scale, Space to culture stands as a new centrality in the metropolitan area of Bologna and mediates its relation with the productive countryside to the north.
Its geographical position provides an extremely high level of accessibility, via two of the main Italian highways, the International Airport Guglielmo Marconi and the high-speed railway station of Bologna.
A few miles away from Bologna, Space to Culture is strategically located alongside the main axes leading to the city centre, which directly connects to the Fiera di Bologna, the district of museums and eventually gets to Piazza Maggiore.
A urban continuity full of potentials.
Space to culture could connect to the empty spaces existing in the urban fabric of Quarto Inferiore, generating a urban continuity full of potentials.
The projects site has its main access directly connected to the route to Bologna, that runs parallel to it.
Moreover, the current parking lot located south of the building is reshaped and turned into another public access. The double-height hall in the south wing of the building acts a urban passage between the two accesses, allowing people moving through Quarto to use it as a totally public space.
The generic suburban landscape of Quarto Inferiore finds a new quality and identity as the main north-east gate to the metropolitan area of Bologna.
Toolbox. A set of space-making devices.
The structural skeleton of the building is almost integrally preserved, as well as its façades and its technological equipments (updated to respond to contemporary requirements in terms of sustainability and efficiency).
On the other hand, all interior partitions are eliminated to allow a global rethinking of its functioning.
A set of 6 toolbox (space-making devices) organise the resulting open space, providing the maximum level of flexibility and thus accommodating the evolving needs of stakeholders and visitors.
Toolbox #1. Playground.
The whole site is involved into the project in order to define an integral continuity between the building and its surroundings. The external space is organised by a sequence of playgrounds where the visitors of Space to Culture and people from the whole village can gather and organise different activities.
Toolbox #2. Restaurant / Café.
The space of the restaurant / cafeteria is modulated by a system of sliding greenhouses. They can be used to define rooms of different shape and dimensions while at the same time they allow sunlight to pass through them, thanks to their semi-transparency.
Toolbox #3. Cultural “foresteria”.
The cultural “foresteria” is a hybrid tool that mixes private and collective, indoor and outdoor.
The upper floors work as a temporary residence for people working in the building (third floor) and as rooms for guests (second and first floor); the open space on the ground floor is a common meeting room that opens on the outside. The layout of the foresteria makes it a crucial device for Space to Culture’s users to get to know each other and share their ideas and knowledge.
Toolbox #4. Working spaces.
The layout of the working spaces is based on a modular system that allows the maximum flexibility, thanks to the use of light wooden partitions.
The resulting rooms can accommodate the needs of different stakeholders: craftmen, artists, creative professionals and businessmen can find all the technical and tecnhological equipements they need for their work.
Toolbox #5. Cinema / theatre / auditorium.
The south wing of the building is turned into a double height hall with up to 240 seats. Its technical equipments allow it to work alternatively as a theatre, an auditorium, a cinema or an exhibition space.
The dimensions of this space are coherent with the ambition of Space to Culture to work at a metropolitan scale.
Toolbox #6. Exhibition space / shared space.
The use of sliding curtains permits to define a series of intimate rooms that host different activities, or else to leave a vast open space where big events can take place and large-scale works of art can be exhibited.
Views on the refurbished building.
- The main entrance to the building leading to the central courtyard and the double height hall. The project extends to the whole site establishing a complete continuity between outdoor and indoor spaces
- The double height passage connecting the exhibition area to the restaurant and commerce area. On its side the media library acts as a filter between leisure and working spaces, facing the refurbished curtain wall of the west façade.
- On the first floor the use of flexible textile diaphragms allows different layouts. The resulting multipurpose space accommodates a wide range of activities.