Terranuova Bracciolini - CSAI SpA Office Building and Vistors Centre

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Terranuova Bracciolini - CSAI SpA Office Building and Vistors Centre
Our design was submitted to a competition for the development of a highly sustainable commercial office building for the CSAI SpA landfill facility close to Terranuova Bracciolini, Italy. The project came third overall. The site, situated in the Tuscan commune of Terranuova Bracciolini, is on the SP7 Piantavigne road by the Podere Rota works, at approximately 3.5km from the Valdarno exit on the A1 motorway and 4km from the village of Terranuova Bracciolini, a commune in the upper Valdarno in the province of Arezzo lying on the Florence-Rome axis 47km southeast of Florence and 36km northwest of Arezzo. The Building for High Energy Efficiency Offices, the subject of the competition and new premises of CSAI S.p.A. will be erected beside the “Casa Rota` works, in an undeveloped area, surrounded by gentle hills and set between the slopes of the Pratomagno hills to the west and the commune of San Giovanni Valdarno to the east, beyond which rise the hills of the Chianti region. The new building, which will be visible from the motorway, is thus situated in the heart of the Valdarno district, an area scattered with medieval villages and sites and landscapes of historical and artistic interest, the destination of international tourism. The Valdarno, however, is also the area in which companies such as Prada, IVV and Unoarre were born – brands that are world renowned and which represent the quality of entrepreneurship in the region and its receptiveness towards the contemporary. The historical heritage of this area, testimony to innovative ideas that survive to the present day, has therefore been and still is a source of awareness that experiment and research are vehicles of quality, visibility, synergy and advantage, and it is thanks to contemporary initiatives characterised by high qualitative and expressive value that the primacy of beauty and the ability to be at the forefront in ideas, form and content is established. It is on the basis of these deliberations, which consider architecture and design as expressive tools representative of the aims and needs of the client, that we have developed our design proposal. We are convinced that the presence of CSAI S.p.A. within such a particular context merits a building that is communicative, spectacular and technologically advanced as the symbol of the innovation and avantgarde it represents. The design seeks: - To produce a building of the highest architectural quality which provides occupiers with the latest modern office specification - To address a highly visible location - To improve the public realm and enhance the surroundings - To realise a sustainable concept for an energy conscious building which educates and informs those who visit it. We have analysed the spatial requirements and would propose that the ground level should accommodate reception, washing/changing, plant and service entrance. We also believe it is vital that the two clients’ offices are kept distinct from one another for security reasons. This is why we have separated them, with the Terranuova Bracciolini offices located at ground level and CSAI offices located on the upper level We believe that a long 2-storey building responds well to the site. Within the structure, we have allowed for the building to expand if needed. A complete or partial level could be added at level 3 by extending the curtain walling up to the underside of the canopy and fitting the space out. Internally, we have arranged the senior offices as individual spaces, in accordance with the brief. We would advocate the impression of open working spaces, therefore we propose glass partitions to the offices. These would be open, but could slide shut to provide acoustic privacy if required As a public face is required for the building, an auditorium can be a place where the public can learn about the future of sustainable energy and recycling. We feel that a place to gather is also to be considered as part of this. This has informed our desire to include a public garden on the site. We feel that this can be a place that is beautiful and creative to reflect the forward thinking of the company. This garden can also be an informative place, so we would like to include functional pieces of machinery with text and graphics to describe each important sustainable facet to the building. Our design aims to be iconic, creative and practical. It will provide the best possible environment for working, relaxing and learning about sustainability. The concept is based upon the idea of "Working In The Garden". Large glass doors at ground level and glass louvers at upper level enable users to open their desks up to the adjacent garden. Within the garden are beautiful sculptures, which mix with planting, shaded by a large louvered canopy above which changes according to the seasons. The perfumed aromas of carefully selected plants act to mask the smells of the recycling depot behind the site. The garden within the site will have an enormous beneficial effect on the building, providing a buffer which helps to control the acoustic, air quality, wind strength and solar impact on the building. The main building entrance is central to the South façade to enable two organizations to occupy it. The TB council offices are accessed to one side of the building at ground level, with staff facilities to the other side accessed from the rear. The CSAI offices occupy the first floor of the building. The long thin nature of the plan allows for maximum daylight to penetrate the floorplates. The office block and canopy are constructed using a simple frame system, optimised to maximising use of natural resources. The visitor concept is based upon the notion of making sustainability a vivid concept. Visitors to the site enter through a sculpture garden which contains information about environmental research on site as well as the credentials of the BREEAM outstanding building design and certain sustainable features of the building, which generate or conserve energy or use recycled materials. Internal gross floor area 1318m2 Full scheme estimated cost 3.400.000€

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