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Sports arena presented – The suspended lantern signed by MCA (Mario Cucinella Architects)

Bologna –

The new Multipurpose Pavilion that will rise inside the Bologna Fairgrounds designed by MCA – Mario Cucinella Architects, is an iconic building that can be modulated into different configurations and is energy efficient.

The project, which will begin the process in the Council and City Council, was presented today at Palazzo D’Accursio by Mayor Matteo Lepore, BolognaFiere President Gianpiero Calzolari, Virtus Segafredo Bologna President Massimo Zanetti and architect Michele Roveri of MCA Mario Cucinella Architects.

The new design for the multipurpose building that will replace Pavilion 35 at the Fairgrounds is part of a broader strategy to functionally integrate the Fairgrounds for cultural and sports entertainment activities.

BolognaFiere’s large venue will increasingly become a piece of the city, specialized not only for large exhibition events but more open to other uses, as happened recently with the opening of the Comunale Nouveau venue, thus becoming unique internationally. The part of the Fairgrounds that faces Constitution Square and Viale Aldo Moro will be increasingly accessible, thanks in part to the construction of the red streetcar line, which has two stops right on Viale Aldo Moro and Viale della Fiera, and the creation of new venues for entertainment, sporting events, and entertainment will make the district lived in and livable at all times, no longer just during fair events.

The opening of new venues for performing arts and entertainment will bring a new animation to the area that also includes Renzo Imbeni Square and extends to the west Constitution entrance, where the other performing arts facilities (Teatro Europauditorium and Comunale Nouveau) are located, gradually configuring a true entertainment district.

Conceived on the current site of Pavilion 35, the pavilion will be built at the crossroads between Piazza Aldo Moro, a link between the center of Bologna, the first suburbs, and Viale della Fiera, a privileged vantage point with respect to the City’s most important vehicular arteries, the highway and the ring road. It will be accessible both from the square inside Viale Aldo Moro (where Pavilion 34, south entrance, faces) and from the parking lot facing Viale della Fiera.

On the side of Via Aldo Moro, which is also characterized by pedestrian flow, a large portal has been envisioned for immediate and direct access for people, while on the Viale della Fiera side, which is driveway, greater emphasis has been placed on the iconicity of the structure to make it immediately recognizable.

Relative to the access on Aldo Moro, the development of the project will consider a redevelopment of the square itself, as well as a reorganization of the accesses and environments of the fair pavilions adjacent to it, in order to become a new functional gateway to the new building and, more generally, to the entire fairgrounds.

Architecturally, the project is characterized by a basement about 10 meters high, on which the volume housing the arena is placed, reaching a height of 25 meters. The volume and scenic facades make the new pavilion a landmark of considerable impact and, at the same time, simple and well inserted into the context of the district. Externally, in fact, the volume is wrapped in a “dynamic envelope,” a façade that parades all around the perimeter of the building going to enclose it: an urban backdrop, on which what happens will be able to be projected, thus showing itself as a large suspended lantern that tells visitors, fans and the City about the activities that take place within it.

Among the objectives of the project, there is the maximization of the ground floor in order to obtain as large a free exhibition area as possible so as to accommodate, as needed, the arena bowl or, when partially dismantled, fair exhibitions.

For this reason, within the pavilion, permanent “fixed” functions – such as elevators, stairs, locker rooms and services – are planned to be located in the side wings while mobile “versatile” functions – including sports training grounds, part of the seating and the hospitality area designed to accommodate VIP audiences during matches – are planned to be located in the central wings. Thanks to this distribution, the ground floor of the pavilion can be used dynamically according to different configurations: sports, exhibition, conference and potentially public entertainment.

Thus, the project involves the construction of two building bodies: the pavilion in which the arena is housed and a building for exhibition purposes, which can then serve as a satellite pavilion, hosting functions open to the public of the new arena.

The Arena

With an indicative capacity of 10,000 seats, the Arena was designed not only with the characteristics of a multipurpose sports facility, but also to ensure efficiency and versatility in the case of trade fair exhibitions, with adequate free surfaces and heights.

The result is a flexible facility, not only in terms of the size of the court – guaranteeing the basic basketball court conformation of 28×15 m for the sports configuration – but also in the number and position of the grandstands: thanks to a rapid assembly/disassembly system, it is possible to both vary the capacity of the space and increase the visibility of the court, ensuring maximum efficiency in every configuration of the hall, from sports to trade fairs to potentially an arena for events and shows.

In designing the grandstands, the bleachers were brought as close as possible to the playing area to enhance the spectator experience. To support this aspect, international guidelines and requirements specific to the basketball discipline were taken into account while respecting the visibility values imposed by FIBA and Euroleague.

The arena design includes the possibility of implementing the bowl of prestigious spaces such as exclusive seats and sky boxes. Also tracing the contemporary European and American arenas, the development of the project will pay particular attention to the spaces reserved for panels and viewers intended for graphics, set design and advertising communications, integrating the intervention without interfering with the visibility of the public.

Accessibility to the arena will be provided both from Piazza A. Moro, partially using the existing accesses to the fairgrounds for which the development of the project will provide a potential reorganization, and from Viale della Fiera exploiting the driveways, so as to ensure a distinction of access flows.

In the structural area, the use of local, natural, recycled or recyclable materials, efficient technologies and processes, planned maintenance and selective demolition and recovery of end-of-life materials and components will be favored.

Environmentally, techniques will be adopted with the aim of minimizing/optimizing energy consumption and neutralizing residual emissions through the proper use of renewable energy sources.

In support of an increasingly waste-less approach, special attention has been given to both the management of the sports facility’s water resources and electrical resources; in the first case, the strategy is geared toward the provision of low-consumption water equipment while at the same time using alternative nonpotable water resources, such as rainwater recovery. In the second case, in order to ensure the energy efficiency of electrical installations, solutions are planned, including use of LED light sources for all installations and in addition “smart” systems for controlling them.

From the urban-territorial point of view, the intervention of the Multipurpose Pavilion fits within the context of Piazza A. Moro respecting the pre-existences. In this context, Aldo Moro Square assumes a strategic importance, both by attracting citizens who will be able to enjoy the spaces before, during and after the fairs and sports events becoming an opportunity for a potential more extensive redevelopment, and by drawing a recognizable entrance to the pavilion: for this reason, the development of the project also assumes the redevelopment of the Square itself with green furnishing elements that mark the pre-existing space.