Fondazione Pietro Rossini Pavilion

Submitted by Suzan Wines

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Client: Fondazione Pietro Rossini Pavilion

Location: Briosco, Italy

Completion date: 2008

Project Team

Architect

SITE - James Wines

Artist

SITE - James Wines

Overview

Designed as a visitors’ center for a 10-hectare sculpture park in the Lake Como region in Italy, this structure is intended to serve as a curator’s residence, coffee shop, bookstore, video studio, plus exhibition gallery for graphics and small sculptures. The 150 square meter tri-level Pavilion is part of SITE's concept for an undulating wall system, which runs throughout the property, as a way of visually connecting various land parcels and art works. The building concept is a response to the regional ecology and characteristic topography.

Goals

This Habitable Sculpture and Garden Pavilion is an example of integrative architecture - a fusion of art, architecture, construction technology, climate control and landscape. The concept of ‘rambling-wall-as-building” is central to the design.

Constructed out of stone, brick, glass, recycled metal and other locally available materials, the wall is bonded together by a network of cast stone "T" shaped columns. These vertical units form a continuous ribbon-like structure which, ultimately, evolves into the circular configuration of the building. This approach offers a flexible modular system to exhibit sculpture, provide rest areas, define territorial sections of the farm and establish a unified scale reference for the entire area.

"T" columns at strategic load-bearing points support the three-level building - above ground level, middle level emerging from hillside and an underground level as media gallery, while additional sculptural units encircle the structure to create irregular openings. The purpose is to increase "inside/outside" relationships through an orchestrated framing of interior views of the landscape. In order to achieve a further integration with the hillside site and maintain year-around climate control, an earth shelter with vegetation covers the entire pavilion roof.

Process

SITE served as design architect and artist. The philosophy of SITE’s work is based on ‘environmental thinking’. This approach refers to an integrative fusion of ideas from visual art, building design, urban planning and landscape architecture – exploring an alternative to the conventional treatment of these disciplines as separate territories. The studio advocates an aesthetic approach where it frequently becomes difficult to discern where one art form begins and the other ends.