Itas Forum adds the final architectural touch to the Le Albere district of Trento, the result of the collaboration of various local bodies and organizations with Studio BBS, which won the competition organized by Itas Mutua. The triangular shape of the site presented a major challenge to the designers, but their innovative proposal turned the tables and made the shape central to the design, which has become an integral, figurative strength of this neighborhood designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop. One of the keys to this success was the work of Pichler projects, which built both the steel structure and the building envelope, and contributed to the overall efficiency of the project by allowing the client to interact with a single partner.
By opting for a steel structure with large spans that allowed optimal compositional freedom, the architects were also able to limit the potential problems posed by the existing structure – foundations and basements – and thus solve the morphological, regulatory and structural problems posed by this second design constraint.
Inside the Itas Forum is an auditorium with approximately 220 seats, the company’s training center rooms and a 230-sq. m retail space, while the upper floors house numerous offices and a rooftop space, responding to the need to create a building for tertiary and office use. In line with the company’s vision at the time of the bid, only part of the space was intended for the company, with the rest available for lease.
While the winning design clearly met all of the structural and functional requirements set forth in the competition brief, the designers went above and beyond – literally and figuratively – to explore the neighborhood and its various themes and find ways to reinterpret them. This is the light in which to see the large glass wall on the ground level, characterized by slender, sequential V-shaped structures made of steel, that creates a hanging effect and visually connects the interior of the building with the surrounding public space, welcoming all who reach the neighborhood from the south.
The entire envelope, with a total surface area of 1,820 sq. m, helps to emphasize the verticality of the project through the rhythmic and sequential pattern of the coated aluminum pilaster cladding.
The exterior skin and steel structure thus become the hallmark of the complex, whose volume appears light, almost floating, with the calibrated juxtaposition of solids and voids in the layout of the elevations suggesting, without revealing too much, the functional subdivision of the interior.