The first asastudio offices to occupy a former industrial building reconverted into a creative space for business are located in Contra’ Pusterla in Vicenza (to be followed by Milan and Berlin). In the former Rumor printworks, rapid regeneration strategies were experimented with and applied that encapsulate asastudio’s functional set of rules as regards buildings that are no longer in use. On the banks of the Bacchiglione river and with its water reflected in the windows, the Vicenza offices perfectly mirror the firm’s fluid, multifaceted nature.
Quella di Contra’ Pusterla a Vicenza è la prima sede di asastudio (seguiranno Milano e Berlino) a occupare un ex-edificio industriale riconvertito in attività creativa. Negli spazi dell’ex-Tipografia Rumor sono state sperimentate e applicate quelle strategie di rigenerazione rapida che racchiudono la grammatica operativa di asastudio verso le strutture in disuso.
Affacciati sull’argine del Bacchiglione e con l’acqua riflessa sui vetri, gli uffici di Vicenza rispecchiano perfettamente la natura fluida e multiversa dello studio.
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- 1200 sqm
director of project Flavio Albanese
founder & partner
Flavio Albanese (1951), is founder and president of Asastudio. A self-taught man whose training did not follow the more usual academic route, he began to show interest in shapes and design as a very young boy, and he gradually added many strings to his bow in all sectors of architecture and design. He has held courses at the École Polytechinique Fédérale in Lausanne and at the Art Institute in Chicago (1980), at Yale University (1983), at the University of Architecture in Delft (2005), at the University of Florida (2006), at the Fundacion Proa de Buenos Aires (2008) and frequently at the most important Italian universities. He has also held two workshops at the international summer school of the Architecture School in Venice in 2009 and 2010. He was a member of the Confindustria Vicenza committee from 1998 to 2001, the Domus Academy Scientific Committee (2004-2005) and the MIart Committee of Honour (2009 and 2010), director of the Officina del Porto di Palermo (2006-2008), vice president of the Andrea Palladio Architecture Firms International Centre (2011-2015) and president of the Fondazione Teatro Comunale Città di Vicenza (2010-2016). From 2007 to 2010 he was asked to head Domus, the prestigious international architecture, design and contemporary art magazine. Together with his brother France, he founded Asastudio in Vicenza in 1987, whose projects have appeared in the most important architecture and design magazines. The Neores project was selected for the Mies van der Rohe Foundation European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture, and Asastudio took part in Venice's Architecture Biennial in 2004 and 2006. Flavio is an avid reader and bibliophile (his library, which is open to the rest of the firm, contains more than 15,000 volumes) and he is a connoisseur and collector of contemporary art. He is currently a member of the Unicredit Triveneto Advisory Board.project administrator Franco Albanese
partner & executive director
Franco Albanese (born in Vicenza in 1958) has worked in the world of architecture and design since 1976. He graduated from the Architecture School in Venice in 1986 and the year after he founded Asastudio in Vicenza with his brother Flavio. Since then he has been the firm's CEO and Technical Manager, and this role has led him to playing his part in the creation, development and execution of the most important projects. As designer and operations manager he oversaw: the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Padua (1997); “Neores”, the production site and headquarters of Sinv Spa in Schio, Vicenza, (selected for the Mies van der Rohe Foundation European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture in 2003); the project for the Town Hall of the Municipality of Grumolo delle Abbadesse, Vicenza (1999); “Morimondo 17”, the industrial reconversion of the Sinv spa premises in Milan (2000); the headquarters of Margraf in Chiampo, in the province of Vicenza (2006); and the redevelopment of the “Cava di Mursia” on Pantelleria (2010). He also supervised the design of the Mestre bypass (2004), the “Rocco Forte Verdura Resort” in Sciacca, in Sicily (2005), the expansion of Pantelleria Airport (2006) and the new Rinascente in Palermo (2007). In recent years, he has increasingly concentrated on reconverting urban industrial areas, which has become a key theme of Asastudio's philosophy.team Stefano Andrighetto —
- Images credits
- Giustino Chemello, Andrea Garzotto, Gaia Giacomelli
The Rumor printworks were built in the ’50s on the site of several old mills, located together to take advantage of the kinetics of the Bacchiglione river, which cuts through the centre of Vicenza before joining the Breda river further downstream. At the Pusterla bridge the water is always fast and clear, with drops, waterfalls and small rapids. The rationalist structure of the historic printworks has remained more or less intact thanks to rapid regeneration strategies that offer at least two advantages: 1. A philosophical advantage: they permit reflection on the heritage, the meaning and the respect for history that buildings – especially industrial ones – represent, in an attempt to keep evidence of them on display. 2. An economic advantage: they function on several levels and by using different methods, so spaces can be altered and made to coexist in spatial terms (different rooms in the same building treated at different depths) or in time (a space can be quickly transformed at a later date once on the market and active, when it can undergo further, more in-depth work).The façade is the only part to have undergone extensive reworking, with the surfaces dismantled and replaced with large windows that reflect and duplicate the clear water. Of the four floors, the two central ones are occupied by the firm’s business activities, the basement by the models workshop, and the top floor by loft apartments.The main operations areas are large open spaces dominated by the surrounding landscape through the large windows. As for the rest, the original walls of the old printworks are simply painted white, while minimalist black is used for the wood and cement flooring. The echo and reflections of the river can be heard and seen in these two spacious areas, acting as a leitmotiv for the firm when design projects are underway. The meeting room is also home to asastudio’s most important cultural asset: the library, with over 15,000 volumes that form the basis of the concepts and philosophies behind all projects.
La tipografia Rumor era stata costruita negli anni ’50 al posto di alcuni vecchi mulini, accostati per sfruttarne la cinetica alle rive del fiume Bacchiglione taglia il centro di Vicenza, per poi congiungersi più a valle con il Brenta. Sul ponte Pusterla l’acqua è sempre veloce e limpida, inscenando salti, cascate e piccole rapide. L’impianto strutturale della storica tipografia è stato mantenuto pressoché intatto nella sua impronta razionalista, attraverso quelle strategie di rigenerazione rapida che permettono di ottenere almeno due vantaggi: 1. Un vantaggio filosofico: consentono di attivare ragionamenti sull’eredità, il senso e il rispetto della storia racchiusa all’interno degli edifici, soprattutto industriali, cercando così di mantenerne evidenti le tracce. 2. Un vantaggio economico: agiscono a più livelli e con più metodi, con la possibilità di variare e farli coesistere nello spazio (locali diversi dello stesso stabile trattate a profondità differenti) o nel tempo (uno spazio può essere riabilitato velocemente e successivamente, una volta inserito nel mercato e reso attivo, può subire uno step di interventi più profondi). La facciata è l’unica porzione ad aver subìto un intervento più vistoso, con uno svuotamento delle superfici sostituite da ampie vetrate, che riflettono e raddoppiano la trasparenza dell’acqua. Dei quattro piani dell’edificio i due centrali sono occupati dalle attività dello studio, il seminterrato dal laboratorio modelli e l’ultimo da un loft con relative foresterie. Gli spazi di lavoro principali sono grandi openspace in cui il paesaggio domina attraverso le vetrate. Il resto è candore delle pareti originarie della vecchia tipografia, semplicemente imbiancate, e nero minimalista dei pavimenti in legno o cemento.
Da questi due ampi vani sono percepibili il riverbero e i riflessi del fiume, che accompagnano come un leitmotiv l’attività di progettazione. La sala riunioni accoglie inoltre il capitale culturale più rilevante di asastudio, la biblioteca di oltre 15.000 volumi da cui derivano le basi concettuali e filosofiche di tutti i progetti.
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