Ex Sellerie | Giorgio Comoglio

• October 26, 2009

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Ex Sellerie, image courtesy of Studio Comoglio Architetti

Italian architect Giorgio Comoglio recently has completed the renovation of the Ex Sellerie, which is located in the area of the ex military arsenal in Turin, Italy. The task of the project is to increase the original building’s floor area and height. The minimal form of perforated steel envelope has been introduced to integrate the existing building into one, and also not to interfere with the surrounding buildings.

We opted to install a curtain of perforated sheet metal in copper-zinc-titanium alloy attached independently on the facade. This skin was meant to wrap the building like an ambiguous veil that conceals the complexity and architectural disorder determined by the previous structure, transforming the pitched roof into a series of homogeneous volumes superimposed. The building is wrapped in a new shell that filters the view of the city with different transparencies.

Giorgio Comoglio

+ Project description courtesy of Giorgio Comoglio

The project is the renovation of the Ex Selleria, a building that belonged to the area of the ex military arsenal in Turin.

The original building was built in the late nineteenth century, two floors in plastered solid brick, with vaulted ceiling over segmental arches.

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Ex Sellerie, image courtesy of Studio Comoglio Architetti

When our office received the assignment, there was a structure designed and partially implemented, with an increase in height of the two floors of the former building inside an envelope made out of an iron structure with pitched roof in corrugated steel.

As well as obtaining the approval from the city, the intervention was directed to recover the image of the building.

We opted to install a curtain of perforated sheet metal in copper-zinc-titanium alloy attached independently on the facade. This skin was meant to wrap the building like an ambiguous veil that conceals the complexity and architectural disorder determined by the previous structure, transforming the pitched roof into a series of homogeneous volumes superimposed. The building is wrapped in a new shell that filters the view of the city with different transparencies.

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Ex Sellerie, image courtesy of Studio Comoglio Architetti

The shape that has been chosen for the wrap allows the occultation of the sloped roof, which doesn’t dialogue with any of the adjacent existing buildings, and at the same time screens the uptake of the solar installations on the roof.

The building communicates a great austerity, giving up of any architectural accessory element, simplyfing the entire structure in minimal forms not to interfere with the buildings and factories around.

The new “skin” is like an interface that makes the “within” and the “outside” dialogue with eachother, as a place of expression and meaning not divisible by the world around and within, a reality that changes all the time. The durable facade works as ventilated wall to reduce the costs of air conditioning as well as barrier from street’s car noises.

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Ex Sellerie, image courtesy of Studio Comoglio Architetti

Inside the building a really important attention is given to details that blends into the overall design, as well as the outside steel structure underlines the basic simplicity that rules the abstract underlaying grid.

The project involves the construction of facilities of common interest, such as a School of Restoration on the ground and first floor of 3240 square meters, and a nursery on the second floor of 1392 square meters. On the mezzanine floor find place residences for the Ser.Mi.G Association administration of the School.

The use of heavy equipment for the School of Restoration made it compulsory the use of the lower stories. There are therefore on the ground floor workshops, warehouses, restrooms, and a local business that will serve to sell the products made by the school.

On the first floor there are managment offices, toilets and other remaining laboratories for the School, which don’t require the use of heavy equipment. The terraces have a lookout over the city as well as are a chance of working outside. On the second floor the space is divided in rooms for day nursery, with a total of 75 seats (15 infants and 60 weaned).

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Ex Sellerie, image courtesy of Studio Comoglio Architetti

The outside area of the day nursery is covered, favorably oriented and protected from the wind. It’s meant to be a continuation of the interior rooms for the children. The terrace towards the street has 4 colored structural bow-window. They go beyond the limits of the facade, making it possible to enjoy safe zenithal and side views along the road. Furthermore, those panoramic viewpoints are treated as spectacular pictorial parts. They become elements of great importance for those travelling on the main street.

 Ex Sellerie | Giorgio Comoglio

Ex Sellerie, image courtesy of Studio Comoglio Architetti

The interiors are simple and sober, without superfluous decoration, aligned with the philosophy and history of the Ser.Mi.G. association.

Based on the experience we have introduced in the project consolidated technologies based on using natural biocompatible materials. We have installed energy-efficient equipment using renewable energy sources, within the available budget. Some of those are:

  • The heating system with radiant panels arranged in the floor;
  • Modulating gas condensing boilers;
  • Saving water systems;
  • Solar collectors to produce hot water, for heating and cooling;
  • The construction of curtain wall through the use of natural materials with high vapor permeability and low surface carbon footprint;
  • The perforated skin in copper-zinc-titanium as ventilated wall to reduce the cost of air conditioning;
  • The rational use of natural resources, climate and energy, using solar energy, reuse of water, the favorable exposure to summer breezes and screening prevailing winter cold winds.
+ Project credits / data

Project: Ex Sellerie, Turin, Italy, 2009
Architect: Giorgio Comoglio
Authors: Comoglio Architetti – Giorgio Comoglio, Eraldo Comoglio, Laura Audisio
Client: City of Turin, Ser.Mi.G Association
Location: Turin, Italy
GFA: 6,320 m2
Programme: School of Restoration, nursery, residences
Engineering consultants: Si.Me.Te, Turin, Italy
Photography: Studio Comoglio Architetti

+ All images courtesy of Studio Comoglio Architetti

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Category: Architecture, Education, Selected

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