Nardini Grappa Distillery “Bolle” / Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas

© Matteo Danesin

The Nardini Grappa Distillary was completed in 2004, designed by Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas in , Vicenza, – the first impressions of the complex are two otherworldly inflated disks hover over a pool of water. Supported on stilts, the glass and steel envelope reflects the water below. Visitors stroll over paths that criss cross over the pool. A descending ramp leads into the 100-seat auditorium below, forming a natural canyon. Underwater lights illuminate the surface, creating a shimmer across the grounds of the distillery and reflected in the floating volumes above.

Come back after the break for more.

© Maurizio Marcato

The effect of the complex makes for a sublime experience. Most of the surface below the building is untraversible. The water clearly sets up a boundary and guides visitors to various points of the complex. The two volumes that float over the pool are research center laboratories. The submerged volume, accessed by the exterior ramp or the internal stair houses an auditorium.

© Maurizio Marcato

The procession between above and below is amplified by the passage through the surface of the water. It appears to be just a few centimeters deep from ground level, but once visitors descend into the submerged volume below it becomes clear that it extends for several meters.

© Maurizio Marcato

The geometery and material choices of the submerged space is big contrast to the those of the laboratories above. The material shift goes from one that is airy, transparent and fine to heavy and solid. The geometry also shifts from one of clear form to the geometric and spatial complexity of the passages and spaces below. The consistency of material within these individual spaces creates a unified reading of the space.

© Maurizio Marcato

ArchitectsMassimiliano and Doriana Fuksas
: Bassano Del Grappa, Vicenza, Italy
Project: Nardini Research Centre and Auditorium
Date of Project: 2002-2004
Client: Giuseppe and Cristina Nardini – Ditta Bortolo Nardini SpA
Interior Design: Fuksas Design
Contractor: Impresa Paolin, Bassano del Grappa
Engineering: Engineer Gilberto Sarti, Rimini
Services: AI Studio, Torino

Cite: Vinnitskaya, Irina. "Nardini Grappa Distillery “Bolle” / Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas" 13 May 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <>
  • Joao Cotta


  • alex

    why are the trees covered?

    • PatrickLBC

      Probably to “control” bird nesting or something. God forbid we just let nature be.