ANIMA Cultural Center Proposal / Bernard Tschumi Architects

ANIMA Cultural Center Proposal / Bernard Tschumi Architects - Image 1 of 5
Courtesy of Bernard Tschumi Architects

ANIMA, the first work in Italy by Bernard Tschumi, is a cultural, social, and architectural generator of events. Situated in Grottammare, the project is intended to welcome and encourage a broader expression of creativity and culture. The schematic design highlights the remarkable quality of a building characterized by flexible space and the structure manifests itself to the visitor as both highly permeable and exceptionally receptive. Unveiled just last month, completion is scheduled for 2016, creating stronger ties between the people and the territory. More images and architects' description after the break.

ANIMA Cultural Center Proposal / Bernard Tschumi Architects - Image 2 of 5
Courtesy of Bernard Tschumi Architects

Commissioned by the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Ascoli Piceno and by the Municipality of Grottammare, it is placed at the fringes of the urban fabric, between the sea and hills that characterize the landscape, the building is clearly visible and immediately accessible from the Adriatic highway. The spatial design is characterized by an exceptional flexibility, floor areas, structural systems, and vertical movement (stairs, elevators) organized in such a way that changing demands can be accommodated.

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site plan

The decision to entrust Bernard Tschumi with this task was based on his extensive and varied experience designing spaces intended for culture. The name of the project, ANIMA, is the result of a public referendum for an acronym of the following concepts: A for Art, N for Nature, I for Ideas, M for Music and A for Action. These are the “five souls” of the project, which Bernard Tschumi used to generate the artifact: an identity in constant flux. The building will be a catalyst for people’s interests, interaction and synergy, promoted by clients who understand architecture as a process rather than a final product.

ANIMA Cultural Center Proposal / Bernard Tschumi Architects - Image 4 of 5

The aim of ANIMA is to host the various forms of local culture that find expression through artistic, gastronomic and environmental means. The objective is to promote the encounter, interaction, and exchange through widespread activities: shows, exhibitions, conferences and workshops that describe the existing territory and envision its possibilities for the future. The project is thus configured as a dynamic space, in constant evolution, that will in essence never lack cultural significance, its temperament as mutable as the expressions that will find home in its interior. A point of excellence which will help generate activities, ANIMA will encourage community groups and foster local productivity, thus becoming an urban generator for the development of the area. A center of excellence and creativity of local resources is born.

ANIMA Cultural Center Proposal / Bernard Tschumi Architects - Image 5 of 5
concept sketches

The surface area on which the building stands coincides with that of the small medieval center of Grottammare, which is little over 7,000 square meters. The project recalls the historic heart of the city not only in its size; it also refers to the concept of urbs. On the outside ANIMA is presented as one single entity with a strong presence; a compact body, a perfect square that in some ways alludes to the notion of enclosure and protection. However, at the same time, it conveys the image of an architectural space in a constant state of becoming. A reflection on the definition of facade is in fact what brought Bernard Tschumi to create an informal solution for the grand vertical surfaces that enclose the building. These walls find the strongest expression on the southern side where the building’s interior spaces are accessed. Seen from the outside, the volume is understood as a recognizable artifact that exists in light of the resources in the vicinity and finds resolution as a highly permeable and contextually receptive building.

Upon entering the quadrangular body, the visitor finds himself in a space partly broken up: meaning it is understood as both interior and exterior. The complexity of the space is determined by the rotation of a large rectangular volume that occupies the center of the building and contains the main room with 1,500 seats, which are configured according to the varying capacity requirements. The rotation of the volume creates four large courtyards, the main room thus faces and can open up to, creating in the end a series of fluid and dynamic pathways, traversed by either the eye or the visitor.

An articulate system of ramps permits movement, creating perspectives at varying heights each of which illustrates the new ways in which the space may be understood. Adjacent to the main hall, connected by a multiplicity of pathways, a series of laboratories, offices, the cafe and ancillary spaces that compose the rest of the building.

Architects: Bernard Tschumi Architects
Grottammare, Italy
Project Manager:
Marco Marcucci - Municipality of Grottammare
General Coordinator:
Alfonso Giancotti / Studio Associato di Architettura Elia-Giancotti
Structural Engineer:
Michele Tiberi / CAED International Srl
Acoustic, Lighting, and Multimedia System Designer: Enrico Moretti / BIOBYTE Srl
Electrical Engineer: Alessandro Federici / Studio Tecnico ing. Alessandro Federici
Mechanical and Hydraulic Engineer: Giuseppe Puglia / Studio Tecnico ing. Giuseppe Puglia
Safety Coordinator: Fabio Giannini / Studio di consulenza e progettazione ing. Fabio Giannini
Geologist: Vittorio Marucci / Studio Associato di Geologia e Geotecnica Marucci
Surveryor: Antonio Morganti / Studio Tecnico Associato Morganti
Communication Consultant: Marco Brizzi / Image MEDIA AGENCY
Client: Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Ascoli Piceno; Municipality of Grottammare
Program: Cultural Center
Site Surface: 9,225 mq
Building Surface: 7,190 mq
Covered Surface: 6,150 mq
Maximum Height: 30 m
Project Date: 2012-2014
Groundbreaking (Scheduled): 2014
Opening (Scheduled): 2016

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About this office
Cite: Alison Furuto. "ANIMA Cultural Center Proposal / Bernard Tschumi Architects" 16 Mar 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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