Rondò dei Talenti

Youth center
Cuneo, Italy
Competition entry - Honorable mention

Floor plan – Ground floor

Floor plan – Rooftop

The project, inserted in an urban context of absolute interest, aims to redevelop the building that was Cassa di Risparmio di Cuneo headquarter.

The project aims to provide the city with a new aggregation pole for the community, dialogueing with the surrounding urbanity. Hence the need to open the space on the ground floor and make it mainly public. The design guideline is the total permeability of the plot, the real key to the revitalization of a space currently delimited by fences. This area will take the form of a new square and will give rise to city, giving access to the building also from the curved side to the South-West and South-East.

The ground floor is designed as a free plan defined by the existing circular section pillars and on the ceiling by the geometries of the existing beams freed from the layer of plaster and re-proposed in exposed concrete, balanced by the insertion of local chestnut slats to buffer the voids and to cover any systems and lighting system placed above them. This floor will give space to the entrance counter and to a multifunctional area/library circumscribed by a complex system of bookeshelfes, desk, seating area developed along the perimiter. This section is completed by an area surrounded by steps that can be used for show, talks, or as a space for socialization.

The roof is transformed into a garden developed along the perimeter of the façade with the insertion of a layer of soil contained within the existing concrete curb. A new glass parapet will be laid along the entire outer perimeter of the roof, in order to ensure safety for users. The roof hosts a range of recreational activities such as the area of urban gardens for learning, a play area and a small social amphitheater for outdoor teaching and aggregation surrounded by greenery. A sculptural installation, a thin orange thread, continuously unites the spaces, as a frame on the surrounding landscape.

Both facades have been redesigned respecting what is the existing volume. The intent was to give a new character to the building both in terms of recognizability and energy performance, working differently depending on the type of shell. The public façade on the street, oriented towards the north-east, was conceived as a translucent element facing the city and able to interact with the surrounding urban context. The new semi-transparent skin in fact allows you to perceive the internal organization of spaces and volumes, especially that of the staircase, while maintaining privacy.

The reinforced concrete volume of the staircase has been deliberately preserved in its original state, but it was proposed to use its surface as a space dedicated to the street art, in order to bring young people closer to the function and themes that will take place inside the building.

For the curved façade, on the other side, the approach was different: the intent was to brake the regular mesh that characterized the façade. This part has covered with a new polycarbonate skin. This solution allows the creation of a ventilated wall that, in addition to its aesthetic value, contributes to the containment of energy consumption. The skin has been vertically deformed while maintaining the sinuosity of the façade: on the ground floor to allow the construction of new accesses and at the roof level to guarantee views of the context. To complete the polycarbonate façade, new full-height modular windows contribute to the creation of an irregular design based on the new interior layout. The windows frame is covered with chestnut panels.