Build Architecture Awards 2016

Build 2016 Architecture Awards 12 Camerana&Partners was formed in 1997 off the back of Bene- detto’s work with a number of established architects. Benedetto talks us through the services offered by his firm and its endeav- our to ensure that every project is of the highest possible quality. “Here at Camerana&Partners we offer a wide range of design services, going from large scale to interior, from master planning to architectural design to exhibit design. The office has experience in various functions such as residential, commercial, retail, cultural, health, research, university, church, temporary exhibitions, indifferently for the public and the private sector. “The overall mission of my company is to give every project the most innovative approach possible within the program requests and limits. Inno- vation is not just about technology or materials (which are anyway crucial in innovation): moreover, it is about use of space and function, and how a new approach to these fundamental issues takes in innovation as a result. The most important step in this is giving as much time and thinking to the preliminary design phase, which is the deepest point for design quality.” One of the firm’s most renowned project was its work on the Alfa Romeo Museum. Benedetto talks us through the project and the challenges he overcome to complete it to such an outstanding standard. “In 2013 I was asked by Sergio Marchionne to take charge of the redevel- opment of the Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese. Several proposals had been put forward over a number of years (including a project of mine in 2002 for a new site for the museum in the Bicocca area) and the museum had been closed since 2011. The aim of the project was to turn the office complex and the extraordinary historical collection in Arese into the focal point of the imminent project regarding the radical and global relaunch of the glorious Milanese marque. The strong propulsive thrust given to the programme by the Alfa Romeo brand, led by the CEO Harald Wester, had to fit in with the limitations imposed by the cultural heritage status of the collection and part of the complex. The project had to work on two distinct but well-integrated fronts: the redevelopment of the complex’s architecture according to its new functions and the redesigning of the installation according to contemporary criteria. Drawing on my experience in historic and exhibition contexts as a starting point, I initiated the project by aiming to enhance the value of the collection and the office complex while maintaining close contact with the people in charge of the Cultural Heritage in the regional administration, coordinated by Caterina Bon Valsassina. These aims were incorporated in the investment plan produced by Fiat Partecipazioni under the direction of Mario Lombardi and in constant dialogue with the technical staff led by Gian Pietro Surano. “On arriving at the museum the visitor is struck by the red canopy, an eye-catching new sign that shows how the administrative complex has been transformed and that guides the visitor from the car park to the museum. The design is dynamic and brings to mind “Alfa Romeo genetics”. The can- opy then penetrates the building and continues as a red band running along the whole itinerary through the “basement”: like a Virgil guiding visitors to the real museum. After traversing the building, the red band emerges to create the new volume of the entrance to the Museum. This tubular volume, with a very automotive design, is highly visible from the motorway and is integrated in the museum building like an architectural implant. The interior space contains the escalator that carries visitors up to the exhibition, envel- oping them in the projection of films showing cars in motion. At the end of the ascent the large space of the museum opens out. The vision begins.” Looking ahead, Benedetto is confident of an exciting future for his firm and outlines a number of exhilarating and opportunity laden plans. “Moving forward, we are foreseeing a possible large master planning in Chi- na, a large multiple use multilayer building in Torino (retail, sport, university housing) and a large touristic landscaped compound in the south of Italy. As a new strategy, we are planning to open a branch in London, where I am preparing with potential clients to export an Italian quality feeling to projects, all along with our usual commitment for deep innovation and quality in any project.” Multi-Disciplinary Firm of the Year 2016 - Italy & Best Italian Museum Renovation: Alfa Romeo Headquarter and Historical Museum Camerana&Partners is an architectural firm Founded by Benedetto Camerana, architect and PhD in History of Architecture, past Editor of a number of prestigious architecture and landscape magazines and past Professor of Architecture in Torino Polytechnics. We invited this architectural expert to talk us through his company and the services it offers. C