Resting on the outskirts of Naples, Renzo Piano latest Volcano Buono is a mixed use center that aims to become integrated into the landscape, rather than just occupying it. The central piazza of the Volcano includes a 150 meter-wide space that holds an outdoor theater and market, while a series of concentric rings form the center’s commercial areas. Piano explained that the Volcano is “a contemporary take on a Greek marketplace, a void as a place for events, meetings, dialogue and the gathering of people”.
From a distance, the Volcano fits naturally with the contours of the land, yet upon closer inspection, the Volcano becomes a modern version of the traditional marketplace, with bustling markets and lively activities such as a shopping mall, entertainment and public spaces, restaurants, a hotel, offices and other facilities.
The commercial center’s cone-shaped form is comprised of interlocking and rotating solids, each with a different slope. The slopes vary in height from 25 to 41 meters and have an overall diameter of 320 meters. The project is constructed from reinforced concrete, and then the roof is covered with over 2,500 plants that insulate the interior spaces, and help the man made structure blend into its surroundings. The roof is also laced with a series of skylights fitted with solar-control double-pane glass to reducing energy needed from lighting by filtering in sunlight.
Images Courtesy of Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Project: Il Vulcano Buono
Author: Renzo Piano Building Workshop, architects
Location: Nola, Italy
Phase One, 1995-2000
Design Team: R.V. Truffelli (Partner in charge)
D. Magnano, P. Brescia, G. Bruzzone, M. Carroll, C. Friedrichs, S. Ishida, D. Piano, M.Palmore, H.Peñaranda, C.F. Shmitz Morkramer, G. Senofonte, E. Spicuglia E. Baglietto
Phase Two, 2001-2007
Design Team: G. Grandi, D. Magnano (Senior Partner and associate in charge)
V. Tolu, C. domenici, D. Hart, O. de Nooyer, A. Bouton
Structure: Favero & Milan
Services: Manens Intertecnica
Cost Control: Austin Italia
Fire Prevention: G.Amaro
Lighting: P. Castiglioni
Photos: Moreno Maggi RPB