NY-based Asymptote secures commission for cultural masterplan in Peccioli, Italy
Asymptote (Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture) has been commissioned to design a new cultural project on the outskirts of the Tuscan hill town of Peccioli, Italy. The ‘Parco Degli Angeli’ (Park of Angels) masterplan and architectural works by Asymptote include a collection of new buildings and parkland, a large covered 800-seat amphitheater and various interactive sculptural features.
The building components include a new Museum of Etruscan Antiquities, a Center for Tuscan Food and Wine Culture (Centro di Cultura Enogastronomica) and a new community-based Music Center and Music Instrument Museum. The architecture and terrain as conceived by Asymptote create new event spaces and public areas that are also carefully woven into the Tuscan environs and linked to the town centre via a nature path that evokes a powerful sense of place, history and timelessness.
The unique structures that comprise ‘Parco Degli Angeli’ are designed to not only create tectonic and formal effects but are also intelligent responses to environmental and climatic issues. The overall masterplan strategy is one of transformability where the collection of buildings and spaces includes a large amphitheatre covered by a kinetic and intricately transformable shell structure.
Predominantly clad in a light and luminous tensile fabric, the canopy serves to control and filter natural sunlight while harnessing its energy via embedded photovoltaics. This high-tech textile shell is comprised of apertures and directional funnels that redirect airflows and respond to changes in daylight as well as adapt according to inclement weather or seasonal changes. This intelligent and ‘responsive skin’ is being designed between New York and Stuttgart in collaboration with Trannsolar Environmental Engineers and structural engineers Knippers Helbig.
For the finer grained aspects of the project, Asymptote was interested in the interplay between the natural and the man-made, a preoccupation seen in the design of Italian Baroque gardens while the works of artists such as Paolo Uccello and Piero della Francesca provided further conceptual inspiration and cues. These in turn informed the overall design, from paving patterns to the colouration and composition of materials.
The intricate mathematical and geometric patterning at the root of Florentine renaissance architecture and engineering are here alluded to through an abstracted and evocative landscape.