The project area, located along Viale Portone and close to the city wall of Castelgrande, falls within the perimeter of the historic district of Bellinzona, a town that is part of the “ISOS” federal inventory for the safeguarding of nationally significant Swiss settlements.
The project aims to redevelop the entire section by demolishing the existing buildings and allowing room for a new multifunctional housing complex divided into six volumes.
The goal of the project is to offer a new public space for the purpose of reinvigorating the section and giving value to the view over Castelgrande, a World Heritage Site and an essential element of the place.
After an extensive analysis of the historical morphology of the location, we decided to create a project that would recall the urban and architectural characteristics of the centre of Bellinzona, and that wouldn’t clash with the castle walls as much, thanks to visual and pedestrian permeability.
The six main volumes, all of which have a pitched roof, consist of four storeys above ground, where different purposes are going to coexist. Commercial premises on the ground floor; on the first and second floor a large open-plan administrative space and offices connected by bridges that maintain spatial and functional continuity; lastly, different-sized apartments on the third floor.
Just like for the planimetry, extensive research was conducted on site for the structure and the external layer of the façade too. This led to gather the architectural elements typical of the historic district of Bellinzona and to acknowledge the tripartite framework of the buildings.
Based on these observations, the main façades of the new building have got a base characterized by an arched portico, which recalls the traditional elements of the historic centre and is aimed at offering an interesting and charming pedestrian area, while on the other storeys a modular façade was applied, a rational element that pursues the existing structure. In the façade raster, the project alternates windows and loggias that blend moving upwards and lend greater transparency to the building.
Lastly, the areas at the back of the building that are closer to the morphology of the natural land are going to be used as green areas and for relaxation and recreation, designed down to the smallest detail with refined urban furniture.