Gianni Arnaudo is renowned as an architect who is particularly fluent in the language of shape and volume. His recent project – a fitting HQ for Italian panettone manufacturer Maina – uses architecture as a visual transmission of a message; a plastic interpretation of a core aspect of contemporary society.
The new Maina factory is a careful synthesis of opposite worlds, East and West, fluently expressed in the language of Pop. The dominant element is a bold red ribbon that penetrates the building from outside, wraps the internal volume in a sculptural staircase, and then projects outwards, reflected in the mirrored surface of a small lake. This playful form diminishes the perceived size of this monumental structure and creates a strong sense of movement through the lightness of this glossy coloured linear element.
The red ribbon, a symbol of joy and cheerfulness, wraps the renovated and extended Maina works like a ribbon around a present, or a panettone. The red colour is carried through into tables and stools produced by Slide to Arnaudo’s design, as well as Kalla armchairs made with a matching gloss red finish.
Gianni Arnaudo’s commission at Fossano is a fitting statement to mark the 50th anniversary of this iconic Italian patisserie company, that started in 1964 as a small confectionery laboratory in Turin. Today, thousands of delicacies are baked daily, including Pan di Spagna, brioches, croissants, amaretti, savoiardi and Panettoni.
The refurbishment gave a starring roll to tiles from Casalgrande Padana. Here the focus is on the Dragon Grey texture from the Amazzonia range – part of the Pietre Native collection – which were used for the external flooring. Internal floors and finishes feature Inox from the Metallica range – part of the Granitoker collection – that provide an effective contrast to the warm coloured furniture used at the Piedmontese factory.
The interior is stunning, with red armchairs and golden tables shaped like a panettone, drawing out the signature red ribbon that ties together the architectural forms, and emphasised by stark contrast to the grey/metallic tonalities of Casalgrande Padana’s porcelain tiles. Gianni Arnaudo terms this ‘an architecture of emotion’ that bases its sense of lightness on this chromatic relationship.
Lighting designers at Simes have dressed the innovative building, enhancing the volumes that come to life when illuminated. While the sinuous unwinding of the staircase is emphasized by the light transpiring from the glass walls, the lighting requirement consisted of designing an adequate exterior lighting concept to emphasize the structure of the red ribbon.
The desired effect was created by post-mounted large beam diffusing Twist luminaires; their articulated structure allow to direct the luminous beam directly onto the wall. The sidewalk is enhanced by the diffused light of the Cool Square bollards that accompany the path till the main entrance of the building.
In the interior behind the red wall, in-ground Suit luminaires mark the steps of the sidewalk that goes on till the reception entrance hall. In the office building, Loft wall luminaires diffuse their light beam from the top down, counterpointing the high vertical and narrow windows, creating a sense of a colonnade.
The light beams enhance the shapes without interfering at all with the structure. The building has been treated as if it were a sculpture, where light allows the lifelines of the colours to emerge against the shadows of the evening and with them, to bring their symbolic message of feast.
Slide’s products were selected to furnish the public areas and the entrance lobby. This leading Italian producer of lighting furniture, lamps, etc, contributed Pandoro hanging lamps and stools, Kalla armchairs, Fizz tables, designed by Gianni Arnaudo.
Client: Maina Panettoni Architect: Gianni Arnaudo. Structural: Marcello Durbano Security-Fireproofing: Mauro Fruttero Electrical Plant: Sergio Degiovanni Thermal and Sanitary: EQ Ingegneria Main Contractor: Zumaglini & Gallina Frameworks: Frea & Frea Glasses: Schüco Doors Internal Frameworks: Bertolotto Porte Floors and Claddings: Casalgrande Padana Prefabrication: Isocell Furniture: Slide Design Interior Lighting: iGuzzini Exterior Lighting: Simes Stretch walls Barrisol Window frames Frea & Frea Special Furniture: Sereno Mobili
A new post by Joe Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, April 2017.