Sports and Culture Centre, Bondeno, Italy


published in l'Arca International n. 143


Sports and Culture Centre, Bondeno, Italy,  project: Mario Cucinella Architects



Concept and Executive Project: Mario Cucinella Architects: Mario Cucinella, Marco Dell’Agli (coordination); Project Team: Valentino Gareri (architect in charge), Federico La Piccirella, Arianna Balboni, Francesco Galli, Mirco Bianchini, Clelia Zappalà; Renderings: Paris render studio; Mechanical Project: Riccardo Giannoni; Electrical Project: Studio tecnico P.S.; Structural Project: Sarti Ingegneria; Quantity Surveyor: Roberto Guidi; Acoustics Consultant: Gabriele Raffellini; Executive Team: Studio Zecchini (mechanical project), Pampuri (electrical project), Ing. Chierici and Ing. Patrick Falcin (structural project); Works Manager: Marco Dell’Agli; Safety Coordinator: Luca Lenzi; Tests: Lorenzo Travagli; Main Contractors: Stone (team leader), Aleberti & Tagliazucchi (plants), Cometa (iron works), Schüco International Italia (building envelope), BI.PI.EFFE (installation of Schüco solutions); User: Comune di Bondeno. Photos: Daniele Domenicali



Built with the aid of a Solidarity Fund for post-seismic reconstruction operations in 2012, the new Sports and Culture Centre in Bondeno, is designed to host sports, recreation and cultural activities. The idea was to provide the local people with a building that fits in with local tradition to become part of their everyday life, providing spaces where people can congregate and enjoy culture.



The project involved the construction of two cylindrical-shaped buildings inspired by the typical shapes and forms found on the local rural landscape, such as silos and bales of hay. The underlying intention certainly is not to provide the local people with a building that “descends from on high” without fitting into the landscape, but rather to build a construction stemming from local tradition and its most distinctive features – all easily recognisable by and harmonious with the local inhabitants. Each cylinder accommodates its own separate functions.



The biggest building has a 250 m² main hall with an extremely flexible structure used for hosting conferences, theatrical performances, exhibitions and even certain sports (aerobics courses, yoga, physical fitness for the elderly, etc). It has an overall capacity of 220 seats in the stalls and gallery.



The building is completed by a foyer and utility spaces. The smaller cylinder serves educational purposes and also helps promote local food and wines. It is built out of a combination of steel and wood. The circular walls are made entirely of glass to optimize natural lighting and visual permeability.



Steel shielding protects the glass windows against sunlight to optimise irradiation and passive heating on the inside. A system of photovoltaic panels on the bigger cylinder’s roof generates electricity for managing both buildings.




One of the operation’s most innovative and original aspects is its team of designers formed by Mario Cucinella and six architects and engineers under the age of 30, who developed the various projects after carefully listening to the specific request of the local people, working in close partnership with borough and regional institutions and the special Reconstruction Committee.