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32 PROJECT REPORT: INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS


The practice never entertained the idea of a design that would camouflage it completely or imitate the nature surrounding it


the permeable voids dominate,” says Frigerio. He adds that these permeable elements, “playing on solids and voids,” minimise the power station’s visual impact and help harmonise it with the island’s landscape.


Material selection took some careful consideration because of the environment the power station sits in. It was important the materials wouldn’t suffer over time and that maintenance would be kept to a minimum in the relatively harsh coastal environment, with the building exposed to the salty sea air, powerful UV rays and high humidity. “In a place with some of the most aggressive atmospheric and environmental agents, research was developed for a construction that would reduce maintenance to zero, entrusting performance over time to the quality of the materials and details,” explains Frigerio. In addition to the building’s facade, a focus lighting was at the core of the design. The practice intended to minimise light pollution omitted by the power station at night, yet also wanted to utilise light to highlight the building’s facade. Frigerio describes the lighting as having been “reworked in terms of quality, and completed with a scenic effect.” LEDs were utilised with cut-off parabolas, positioned to hide the light source completely and minimise its impact on the building and landscape. Instead, the practice wanted to showcase the building itself. “Scenographic lighting features between the parapet and walls, with a blade of light shooting


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upwards highlight the perforated plates, and downwards to illuminate the walls,” Frigerio explains. “We wanted to create an evocative night vision of the new ‘heart’ that feeds the whole island.”


One other element the practice wanted to include was green roofs, which Frigerio says was a challenging part of the design. Their inclusion, chiefly to disguise sophisticated electrical installations, meant “absolute water tightness had to be guaranteed,” he explains. “The greatest effort was convincing the client’s engineers that this was possible!”


Landscaping was another important consideration for the practice – so much so that they described Capri’s mountainous scenery as the second “natural matrix” that influenced their design. “The plan was to follow the orography of the land,” says Frigerio. “The calcareous steps that rise from Marina Grande become retaining walls or buildings, while the vegetation spontaneously occupies the empty spaces and the roofs, to mitigate the volumes and minimise the visual impact.” The plants chosen are local to the island, not only helping the overall composition blend seamlessly, but also meaning they’ll require virtually no maintenance and can be left to grow autonomously.


Although they wanted the landscaping to have a natural, organic feel, some design choices were made for more pragmatic reasons. Tall evergreen oaks, strawberries and carob trees were included to the north, to screen certain elements of the power


ADF SEPTEMBER 2021


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