A contemporary landscape. Rather than an answer to the functional program through the simple additions of volumes, the project aims to emphasize the different natural features of surrounding space (and its relations) and to connect them under an aluminium grey-blue perforated skin. The broken geometry of the silhouette thus becomes a landmark at the city’s entrance – and for those who travel the highway – while it dialogues with the fields and Alps on the background.
Closed competition, built
The new headquarters for the sportswear brand Salewa, one of the most important manufacturers in Bolzano, is in an exceptional location adjacent to the Bolzano highway suggesting a “landscape” building, in formal dialog with the steep surrounding mountainsides. As well as housing new workspaces and an indoor climbing gym, the building aims to provide a space for interaction and communication between the company and its network of suppliers, partners and clients. The new headquarters represents a point of convergence between different elements of everyday life: from physical, social and communicative dimensions to work styles and leisure.
The strong connection of the spot with the history of the place, marked the design: the regular plots of the fields towards south together with the backdrop of the mountains to the north are a reminder of the centuries-old relationship between the work of man and nature, the same as the castles that dot the valley and the villages seeking the sun on the southern ridges.
The view from the highway required a strong unitary form, capable of interacting with the dynamic dimension of the moving traffic. The north side, facing the new road, represents a melting point with the city’s industrial area, constituting the “address” of the company for those who reach it by car or by foot and for those who use the connected services.
The eastern wing, with the climbing wall facing the public park and bistro, represents the most convivial and public side of the building. The volumes of the office building and climbing gym interact with each other and with the surrounding mountains embracing the large facing courtyard parking lot, screened from the road by a green barrier. The arrangement of functions into the building volumes generates a series of relationships that determines the image of the building on different scales, a sequence of different exterior and interior “landscapes” that helps users to explore the building in relation to the different levels of each area’s privacy.
The same cladding covers the three taller office buildings of the south side, serving at the same time as a sunshade screen. The metallic cover with its broken geometry continues as a large overhang towards the south covering the deposit area. On the north side, the large vertical glass covering which does not require any sun shading, brings light to the workspaces offering stunning views over the surrounding landscape.
The project aims to create a welcoming ambient capable of fulfilling the various requirements set out in the program, to shape the identity of the company and its commitment to the environment and to interpret the theme of “endurance” that characterizes the relationship between man and landscape.