The new Despar store in Piazza della Frutta, Padua, was developed by carefully balancing brand identity with architectural sensitivity. A stylish "inlay" in the heart of the city.
- 400 sqm
director of the 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.
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.project administrator Piero Corradin
head of projects
Piero Corradin graduated from the Iuav Architecture School in Venice in 2002 and in the same year began working as an architect with Asastudio. Some of the most important projects Piero has worked on include the urban redevelopment of a quarter in Beijing to an OMA masterplan (2007), the new branch of Banca Popolare in Marostica (2006), the new headquarters of AFV Acciaierie Beltrame in Vicenza (2007), the bid for the new Exhibition Centre in Vicenza (2008), and the international bid “Recupero della cava di Mursia” on the island of Pantelleria (2010). In 2012 he took part in the Hybrid Tower project in Mestre (Venice) and in the design for the architectural layout of Verona's trolleybus system. In 2008 he was a tutor for PreVisioni, the international workshop on the future masterplan for Vicenza; and at the 2009 and 2010 summer workshops of the Iuav Architeecture School in Venice. Since 2014 Piero has been Asastudio's Head of Projects.design project Francesca Casara
Francesca graduated from the Iuav in Venice and has been an architect since 2007. She joined Asastudio in 2012 and has used her versatile talent on many projects, dealing with different-scale elements of projects (from masterplans to interior design), and in the different project phases, from the concept stage to the final implementation phase on site. Some of the projects she has worked on include the new Exhibition Centre in Vicenza, the Colli Berici Golf Club and the Hybrid Tower in Mestre. Before joining Asastudio, from 2007 to 2011 she worked for the G&G architecture firm based in Padua, while working independently on numerous other projects. She loves travel, nature and animals. She has won many ski competitions and is a riding instructor, a sport she practises at a competitive level, specialising in show jumping. Francesca likes bubbles, but only in her wine, and her favourite pattern is animal prints.team Gad Peralta —
Filippo was born in 1984 and became an architect when he graduated in Construction Architecture from the IUAV in 2010, specialising in Digital Architecture for his master's also in Venice in 2010. He joined asastudio in 2015 and he deals with 3D design and models, prototyping, rendering, and post-production of images and videos. Before arriving in Vicenza, he worked in Maastricht at SatijnPlus Architecten, in Milan for Cino Zucchi Architetti and in Rome for Fuksas Architecture. When he's not designing, Filippo is a musician and composer for the band A New Silent Corporation, with whom he has recorded two albums of post-rock instrumental music (Everything Is Exactly As It Seems, 2009; Odyssea, 2016). He plays electric guitar (for which he has a collection of pedals that he doesn't know how to use) and piano. He loves dogs and hates people who talk on trains, which perhaps explains why he would like to have been an astronaut.
- Images credits
- Andrea Garzotto
The new Despar store in Palazzo Sinigaglia is a small contemporary “inlay” in Piazza della Frutta, right in the historic centre of Padua. The concept for the store was developed by carefully balancing brand identity with architectural sensitivity. The colour impact of the logos and signs was fine-tuned to be harmonious with the neo-Doric columns and pale colours of the portico and façade. The street-side windows feature large close-ups of Flemish and Baroque still life paintings, reworked into a neo-Dadaist assemblage. The balance of forms is very contemporary. In the interior, the giant reproductions on the ceiling recall the beauty of ceiling frescoes in aristocratic palazzos, as does the use of a herringbone floor pattern and elegant noble rugs. The Despar store proves to be a successful experiment in symbiosis of the old and the new within the city’s historic fabric.