Type of project
Colour Corten Steel Glass Chasing and Repoussage Alluminium Plaster
[ ark ] N.02
Paola De Pietri
We took on a project to restore a structure formerly known as the “Fagas”, located in the main shopping district in the city of Siena. The need to convert the structure emerged from the idea of creating a commercial and management centre with a contemporary image, while also being an architectural gem in what is otherwise an area of exceptionally mediocre buildings.
We started by stripping the old building of all the infill and cladding that created its original shape, while keeping its soul, the structural skeleton of the old warehouse made entirely from prefabricated sections, intact.
Once the intertwining floors and pillars had been laid bare, we subtly expanded the spaces where this was permitted by the urban planning regulations. We created two cantilevers on the first floor and elevated the flat roof utilising “metal shelves” connected to the ends of the pillars. Despite the rigid constraints that limited how we could modify the structure’s external appearance, we sought to create an interplay of moving light and shadow, incisions, and surface apertures that would give the impression of a dynamic and active object, however regular and solid its basic form. We fitted strip windows horizontally at differing heights, and we created a range of depth through the unevenness of the cantilevers and the inlays of the connecting corridors. We also opted to cover the exterior in blue “spatula-effect” plaster relief (hence the new name “Blue Cube”) rather than with a smooth and continuous finish.
Our aim was to enhance a disused structure of minimal aesthetic value and initiate the beginning of an redevelopment of an area built during the second half of the last century, without specifically seeking to create a prestigious shopping hub for the city.