Trade Fair
Foundry 1

Place Follonica
Country Italy
Client Municipality of Follonica
Team Politecnica Ingegneria e Architettura
Assignment definitive, detailed design phases, health and safety coordination in the design phase, site supervision
Dates of services 2010 - 2011
Dates of construction 2012 - 2015
Project area 2.388 m2
Building footprint 1.682 m2

The Project

The cultural and urban value of “Foundry 1” is evidenced in the ancient memories of its transformation and in its central location between the historic center and the new Central Park of Follonica. Not only the architecture restoration has allowed to open a new “Fair and Exhibition Center”, it has created a new “Gateway” that re-establishes a thoroughfare and enhances a neighborhood, which had been marginalized for decades on the edge of the city.

The adaptive re-use of “Foundry 1” is a strategic intervention that integrates different scales of integrated design: from the regeneration of a former industrial building, the best restoration techniques, to the design of its new contemporary identity and the urban and social enhancement of a new piece of the city.

Before the restoration, “Foundry 1” was almost like a private Roman church without its roof, “a clear perspective box” made of strong walls but long since degraded, which required an in-depth analysis on the most appropriate restoration techniques.

Two big portals, one overlooking Via Roma, the other one in its north-western face, welcome the visitor inside a “Covered Square” delimited by a “Big Piece of Furniture” made of wood. Three wooden Cubes set the pace of the central nave enhancing the central perspective: architecture inside architecture, which reshapes the space with that spectacular connotation that fits into a new center for contemporary art.

First Arsenal, then Foundry, today Contemporary Exhibition Center, “Foundry 1” reaches its final stage that returns it to the city.