Shaped by the serpentine run of the Brembo river and the sloping Alpine mountainsides, BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group’s winning design for the new 17.500 sq m S.Pellegrino Flagship Factory embraces the surrounding forces of nature and taps into S.Pellegrino’s industrial heritage, guiding visitors through the 30-year journey of the natural mineral water.
S.Pellegrino has selected BIG to develop the new home for one of the most complex and advanced plants in San Pellegrino Terme, where the natural mineral water has been bottled since 1899. BIG and MVRDV were announced as finalists of the invited competition curated by Studio Molinari in October 2016. The winning proposal, designed by BIG, was officially unveiled today at the Feltrinelli Foundation in Milan. The 90m Euro project is expected to bring economic, tourism, social and employment benefits to local communities and the entire Lombardy Region.
”Today we are laying the first symbolic stone of the Factory, which will become the flagship of our Group,” said Stefano Agostini, President and CEO of the S.Pellegrino Group. “Out of all the projects presented, BIG’s proposal was the most representative of our brand values and our company’s commitment: to restore our role as Made in Italy ambassadors; tell an extraordinary and non-outsourceable story of mineral water; generate real value and benefits for the community in which we operate; enhance the quality of work for our personnel – and therefore, increase production – reinforcing the sense of belonging and passion for working in a progressive, comfortable and gratifying environment.”
BIG’s proposal for S.Pellegrino’s new home in the heart of Bergamo is an authentic extension of the rational and functional architecture of the existing factory from 1899, and a homage to the classic elements of Italian architecture and urbanism. The arcade, the piazza and the portico create an architectural environment where production and consumption, nature and architecture, outside and inside, and making and enjoying are accommodated in an integrated way to elevate the experience for visitors as well as S.Pellegrino staff.
“It is with great excitement that we embark on this collaboration with S.Pellegrino. Rather than imposing a new identity on the existing complex, we propose to grow it out of the complex. Like the mineral water itself – the new S.Pellegrino Factory and Experience Lab will seem to spring from its natural source. We propose to wash away the traditional segregation between front and back of house, and to create a seamless continuity between the environment of production and consumption, and preparation and enjoyment.“ Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner, BIG.
BIG’s design is evolved around a well-known architectural element: the archway. The simple and clear character of the expanding and contracting arches throughout the campus, create a multitude of spaces and experiences. Visitors and S.Pellegrino employees will walk through majestic vaults, covered tunnels, arcades and green pergolas that frame the history and heritage of the brand. The architecture’s seriality will reveal parts of the surrounding mountains, from the snowcapped summit to the flowing Brembo river.
At the centre of the campus, a giant core sample will visualize the 30-year journey that the mineral water must travel through to acquire the minerals and achieve the purity that is unique to S.Pellegrino. The new S.Pellegrino Flagship Factory will appear disciplined yet fluid; cavernous yet transparent; unifying yet diverse; classic yet contemporary. Celebrating both tradition and evolution the architecture of the new campus reflects the core values of San Pellegrino Terme as well as the Sanpellegrino Group: Purity, Transparency and Naturality.
“This project is demonstrative of Sanpellegrino Group’s close attention to and strong bond with our territory,” commented Vittorio Milesi, Mayor of San Pellegrino Terme. “The new factory falls under the category of tourism development for our community and we are confident that it will stimulate other initiatives that were started in recent years, but may have been put on hold in the aftermath of the economic crisis.”
BIG, S.Pellegrino and local architects Studio Verticale will collaborate for the next four years, with groundbreaking of the construction to take place in 2018. First priority will be given to the construction of the bridge that will connect the bottling plant to Zogno, which will then connect to the parking structure for heavy vehicles. From 2019-on, focus will be given to the offices, the northern wing of the Factory and the Experience Lab.
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