Barilla Visitor Centre Merges with Surrounding Wheat Fields in Pedrignano, Italy


Render by Aron Lorincz. Image Courtesy of Studio VAARO

Render by Aron Lorincz. Image Courtesy of Studio VAARO

Studio VAARO, in collaboration with Gabriel Fain Architects, have designed a visitor center pavilion for Barilla in Pedrignano, Italy which responds to its industrial and agricultural context with an iconic gesture. With space for events, a café, restaurant and shop, the diverse programs are united under one sweeping roof. The roof merges with the surrounding wheat fields, creating the impression of a natural mound emerging from the earth when approaching from the South. From the road, the earth excavated from the foundations have been compacted to create a rammed-earth façade, its mineral stratification evoking the archaic and the natural. 


Diagram

Diagram

The architects describe the roof as “subtly [morphing] between two elemental and symbolic geometries – that of the House to the East and that of the rectangular Factory to the West. In so doing, our Barilla pavilion combines the domestic familiarity of the home and the utility of the factory.”


Level 1 Plan

Level 1 Plan

The pavilion consists of two parallel programs, with the primary, larger one containing the main public spaces and the smaller one used for support functions and flexible-use spaces. The secondary section needs little to no natural light, and so it is fully buried underneath the landscape. This allows the main space to be opened up and receive maximum amounts of sunlight, as well as being free of any back-of-house functions, creating a light-filled, flexible space. 


Render by Nephew. Image Courtesy of Studio VAARO

Render by Nephew. Image Courtesy of Studio VAARO

The architects have designed the pavilion with a holistic view of sustainability. Using renewable building materials such as wood, straw, and the site’s own soil, they have created a proposal that not only responds to the surrounding landscape, but also cleverly utilities the materials at hand. The thick façade and earth berms create enough thermal mass to help with most of the heating and cooling needs, while the interior of the pavilion is composed of sustainable and locally-sourced wood. The architects have also considered the long-term potential of the building, designing it to be versatile in its future use.


Render by Aron Lorincz. Image Courtesy of Studio VAARO

Render by Aron Lorincz. Image Courtesy of Studio VAARO

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