ut of all the new events planned for the forthcoming edition of Cersaie, there’s certainly one that’s cause for great trepidation and interest: the grand opening of the pavilions n. 29 and 30, the first step of the comprehensive regeneration project of the trade fair centre. The entire project is overseen by studio Di Gregorio Associati, who has over 30 years experience on the international scene in a variety of different fields such as urban planning, landscape architecture, infrastructure and interior design. The architect Francesco Di Gregorio provides us with insight on a project that has been followed with great expectation for some time. With the architects Gianni Di Gregorio and Francesco Musetti, he oversees the running of their prestigious practice and for the Bologna Fiere project, they were joined by the top architect from Ticino Aurelio Galfetti, Prof. Gabriele Cappelato and Ing. Massimo Majowiecki, who acted as scientific consultants.
Arch. Di Gregorio, what will visitors see at Cersaie in September?
“Next September, visitors will see the first step of the comprehensive regeneration and expansion project of the trade fair centre, completion is expected by 2024. On the whole, this project doesn’t erase the past but on the contrary, it creates a dialogue and a comparison with the original project by Benevolo/Giuralongo/Melograni, improving several existing spatial qualities as well. The focal point of the new plan is an axis that cuts across the entire district from north to south; this addresses the existing buildings as well as the new constructions.
This large urban artery - the mall- connects the ancillary services and acts as well as a skeleton structure for the new pavilions, located inside the current perimeter.
Except to the north, the head of this ideal axis protrudes out re-shaping the area’s busiest access route that goes from the bypass to the Michelino car-park, creating a practical reception area. The first section of the axis will be completed in September, already closing off the main distribution route – planned as part of the original Benevolo project but never finished – so the fair will be fully accessible”.
What are the project’s main objectives?
“First and foremost, through a global vision that connects the trade fair centre with the surrounding urban fabric, this project strives to improve local accessibility and logistics management. What’s more, it aims at re-developing the structure of the exhibition centre itself, imagined by us as a “large shell” with a flexible plan that is simply altered to suit the different events and their requirements. Another aim was to improve the quality of the exhibition itinerary and of the overall visitor experience; this was done with practical, bright interconnections that house the many activities planned. The mall, the new connection axis, takes centre stage: it has spaces for visitors to linger and take a rest, people can exchange goods or thoughts and it has variety of different exhibitions as well. The winter garden is the project’s arms and because of the different activities that take place, the mall, is not only the main connective artery but a generator of pleasant experiences too.
Can you reveal a few details of the project?
“Light and how it shapes a space is undoubtedly the main feature of the project. Thanks to see-through surfaces, natural light floods the internal spaces of the mall. On the other hand, natural light in the pavilions spreads thanks to translucent surfaces that diffuse light homogeneously, creating a particularly soft type of light. Therefore, the light that filters through the supporting structure is the main factor that transforms the entire route, whether it’s in the mall, pavilions or along the lateral beams. The trusses include the installation and maintenance corridor as well; this is maintained easily and has a low energy impact. “
Finally, as I revealed earlier, the pavilions have a new feature, designed as a large square with a single-span of 72 m with stands on different levels that are freely arranged. As regards to the opening installation on bathroom décor, you will definitely appreciate that your visit will be enhanced by a new-found spatial quality.”