London and Barcelona-based practice AZPA (Alejandro Zaera-Polo Architecture) has been announced as winner of an international competition aimed to establish a permanent residence for the Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland. Breaking away from the starchitect notion of public architecture needing to make an “extravagant gesture”, AZPA’s innovative proposal partakes in an act of “urban recycling” by reusing the pre-existent, nineteenth century structure of Piazza Castello and transforming its interior courtyard into three sizable theaters. Additionally, a complimentary renovation will take place on the surrounding Piazza Remo Rossi, which will be repaved with red natural stone that essentially provides a “permanent red carpet” qualified to host an array of festival related events.
As Architect Alejandro Zaera-Polo describes: “I do not want to redraw the city, but keep the city.”
AZPA’s winning design not only preserves and capitalizes on the existing integrity of the city, but the strategies employed makes this an economically viable solution. With an estimated price tag of 28 million Swiss Francs, this renovation is said to be no more than the cost of a complete demolition.
More on AZPA’s winning proposal after the break.
The main aim of AZPA in their design for the New Library of St. Martin in Passiria was to create an envelope that is not only functional but also representative of the local and global contents of a cultural institution found in a library. This design would have the architectural potential to transcend the specificities of the place to reach a global character. More images and architects’ description after the break.