1998

IT Cafè & restaurants & discobar

The project consists in the recovery of an old industrial complex of 800 square meters formerly used as a disco, obsolete both from a functional and aesthetic point of view, located in the anonymous countryside of the province of Alessandria. The client’s need was to renew the image of the complex, and communicate an idea of ​​’modernity’ to the client, without however demolishing and rebuilding the pre-existing volumes.

The architects’ choice was directed towards a disruptive scenographic solution but “light” for the external parts, with the aim of a radical transformation of the interiors. All to give character and recognition to the venue, and to accommodate the changing needs of this recreational sector: the disco nowadays must combine with other functions (restaurant, wine bar, etc.) to differentiate the use of space and attract different types of customers (mainly over 20).

In both cases, the lighting design plays a decisive role in clarifying and emphasizing what is expressed by the architecture, also because the disco is usable at night.

Architecture and lighting design:

The external parts have not been modified, but clad with steel counterparts made up of modular grids of expanded metal and vertical uprights. These walls ‘open’ near the entrance and the corners of the building, creating unexpected glimpses and a general sensation of “movement”. The scenographic effect is accentuated and enriched through the use of grazing light projected onto the grids by asymmetrical lighting fixtures recessed into the ground with a distance of 4m: the steel grids seem to dematerialize and the disco, enveloped in light, becomes an unexpected landmark in the nocturnal landscape of the countryside.

This feeling is emphasized by the insertion of a tall backlit ‘totem’ bearing the name ‘It Cafè’, and acts as a pivot of the composition, signaling the entrance. The totem supports the steel canopy that covers the entrance and projects into the building. Even the canopy (made of steel and glass) is illuminated with grazing light, but through small projectors hidden in the metal frame. The entrance is also marked by step lights with a steel ring and acid-etched glass set within a wooden ramp that penetrates inside the volume: the spotlights continue inside, leading customers towards the cloakroom area.

A contemporary architectural character was used and colors and lights were used to differentiate the different environments.

Client

IT Cafè & Restaurant & Discobar

Programme

Architecture

Location

Pozzolo Formigaro, AL, Italy

Activity

Architectural design
Interior Design
Supervision

Size

900 sqm project area

Team

Arch. Andrea Marenco
Architettiriuniti

Year

1998

Status

Built

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