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WOOD & LAMINATE ECO-CHIC


The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) is the leading international trade association for the US hardwood industry, representing the committed exporters among US hardwood companies and all the major US hardwood production trade associations. One of their most impressive jobs to date is The Rimini Convention Centre in Italy, which they decked out in beautiful American black cherry.


Designed by German architects GMP Studio, the Rimini Convention Centre is one of the largest convention centres in Italy. It is also be one of the most eco- sustainable buildings in the country with spectacular timber flooring made from American black cherry. Spread over 38,000 m2, the new €117 million (including land costs) centre has three separate entrances to two different conference and exhibition spaces seating 9,300.


“The new Rimini Convention Center,” explained architect Volkwin Marg of GMP, “integrates into an important urban context that is the object of an overall redevelopment project.”


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Amongst the 15 most important contemporary architecture firms in the world, GMP Studio also designed the new Rimini Fairgrounds and will be coordinating a new music auditorium and the new landscape design for the area. The Convention Centre, which officially opened in 4 October last year, is a functional modular design of the conference and exhibition spaces that make it possible to host numerous different events simultaneously.


The first space is laid out on two floors including the large 4,000m2


entrance foyer


that looks out over the sea. A striking ‘oyster-shell’ amphitheatre is located on


the first floor, offering fixed seating for 1,600 with the option of dividing into two 800-seat auditoriums. The shell shape reflects the location, references the sea, the entrepreneurial heritage of the Rimini area and elicits Renaissance architecture, which is always a strong presence in Volkwin Marg’s concepts. The second space is located immediately behind the first, is connected via the foyer and contains the main conference hall with 4,700 seats. This can also be divided using soundproof, moveable partitions to create up to eight autonomous rooms plus a range of other smaller conference rooms and break out areas.


The real organic beauty of


the Centre is to be found inside with the clean and contemporary American black cherry flooring. After dismissing an original idea of using ‘industrial’ flooring made from recycled wood, architect Volkwin Marg chose a different route that adopted a timber that was warmer, more refined and more eye-catching. “Initially, the architects were looking for a product that was easy to source but still had unique characteristics,” commented Maurizio Bernardi, of Adria Legno Service (San Clemente/Rimini), the company that planned, prepared and finally installed the floors. “We stepped in with the idea of obtaining the best raw materials available


www.tomorrowsflooring.com


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