The site is part of the urban tissue of a town on the the Adriatic coast. It’s situated behind one of the oldest and most glorious buildings: the Kursaal. The building lies upon a rectangular lot along the east-west direction, bordering the sea.
The project themes follow the morphology and a series of details which seem to be very disadvantageous at first sight:
- The shape, with a very impressive length;
- The use of the ground floor (equipment and services for the cinema), needing a completely free connection to the ground; the presence of a very high and close building on the southern side.
The project tries to reinterpret all this by the attempt of giving these details architectural significance: The vertical distribution was placed in the main façade, in order to use the ground floor without interruptions, thus becoming the main front and emphasizing the flow pathlines of the building; The introspection topic, as well as light adjustment/capturing influenced by the significant bordering buildings, has become the reason for the glass skin wrapping up the building.
It ‘s a skin that dough and fold forming a protective screen and at the same time it’s like a machine for collecting light. The skin is the locus of reflections, of visual reverberations; windows disappear, the “scales” draw cuts, a kind of “thickness” surface. On this surface there are the perforated steel embossed views that look the sea like points of sighting.
The building houses holiday flats. Since the building shape is very long, the idea is to conceive these spaces as boat-like rather than houses fixed on the ground; the access to all flats is provided by a long “bridge” on the last floor, linking to the living areas of the flats. From the living is possible to reach the rooms downstairs with internal wooden and iron stairs or go upstairs on the deck/terrace on the upper floor.
The flats “float” upon a ground floor which is totally empty and dematerialized, by a long glass wall. The comparison with the 20th-century Kursaal, is sought by continuously opposing materials and shapes which express lightness (glass, metal, laminate) to the Kursaal’s plastered wall mass.
The images of the white mosaic blade emerging among the neoclassical buildings in Corso Italia in Milan, and of the Astrea co-operative house or the “girasole” in viale Buozzi in Rome come to the author’s mind in this instance. Functional issues are a pretext to measure our skills with the projects and works that Italian architects of the 50s and 60s gave us. An extremely interesting period. A mixed condition that I believe belongs to our job. A homage to Luigi Moretti.