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.
HHF & Burckhardt + Partner shared with us their second prize winning proposal for the Zoo Basel Ozeanium, which is embedded in the city and used as a park by residents and visitors. The proposed Ozeanium accommodates the scale of the surrounding buildings, such as the Rialto swimming pool, the market hall and the tall buildings on the city ring. The striking, confident construction volume is a clear indication of what an attraction this will be, enriching the city in a central location. The redesigning of the green area Nachtigallenwäldeli and the construction of the new Ozeanium, an ocean aquarium, on the Heuwaage are bringing the zoo and the park area even closer to the city center, to form an attractive living environment and recreational area. More images and architects’ description after the break.