BIG Wins Competition to Design New San Pellegrino Headquarters in Italy
Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has won a competition to design the San Pellegrino Flagship Factory’s new headquarters and bottling plants, in the Alps of northern Italy. The project will be covering an area of 17,000 sqm and is expected to cost €90 million. It will be replacing the company’s, almost, 118-year-old bottling plant and offices in San Pellegrino Terme.
The organizers of the competition which was also joined by MVRDV, Snøhetta, and Architetto Michele De Lucchi, wanted a “truly innovative and technologically-advanced design” for the renovation and expansion of the world’s leading sparkling mineral water company. They have also required for the innovative design to be integrated with its surrounding Alpine landscape.
Bjarke Ingels discussed BIG’s design concept for the project. “Rather than imposing a new identity on the existing complex, we propose to grow it out of the complex,” he said. “Like the mineral water itself – the new San Pellegrino Factory and Experience Lab will seem to spring from its natural source,” he added. “We propose to wash away the traditional segregation between front and back of the house, to create a seamless continuity between the environment of production and consumption, preparation and enjoyment.”
The winning design features a series of archways which expand and contract throughout the campus to create varied experiences. According to BIG, the visitors will be walking through the “majestic vaults, covered tunnels, arcades and green pergolas that frame the history and heritage of the brand.” The campus, also, features a piazza with a giant centerpiece that is aimed to “visualize the 30-year journey that the mineral water must travel through to acquire the minerals and achieve the purity that is unique to San Pellegrino, as explained by BIG. The whole design is inspired by the Italian classic architecture, adapting its elements to create “an architectural environment where production and consumption, nature and architecture, outside and inside, and making and enjoying are accommodated in an integrated way to elevate the experience for visitors as well as San Pellegrino staff.”
The designers have also managed to compose a whole picture out of the neutral grey architecture and the surrounding terrains forming the landscape. “The architecture’s seriality will reveal parts of the surrounding mountains, from the snowcapped summit to the flowing Brembo River,” they explained.
The construction work for the project is expected to be finished in 2018. The project will, also, include an Experience Lab for the visitors to learn about the production of mineral water.