New Palavela

New Palavela

Public places and buildings

The project, commissioned by Agenzia Torino 2006, has been carried out by a combine of Maire Engineering, Impresa Rosso and Keltermica, all of which based in Turin. The architectural and functional restoration project for this iconic Turinese building has used slabs of high-tech Ardesia Bordeaux technical ceramic material by Ariostea for both interior and exterior paving, accounting for a total area of approximately 16,000 m².

The international tender launched in 2002 entailed, in the context of the preparatory work for the Turin 2006 Winter Olympics, the restructuring and transformation of the PalaVela into a dedicated sports facility for figure skating and short track events, with stands for 8,000 - 10,000 spectators and auxiliary service areas, which, at the end of the Olympics, will be reusable as a multipurpose resource owned by the Turin City Council.

This historical building was built in 1959-1961 as an exhibition centre for the Centenary of the Unity of Italy, and was conceived as a bold three pointed sail-like structure. The PalaVela''s unique shape and imposing size still impress today: the building stands on a hexagonal base defined within a 150 m diameter circle, and consists of a reinforced concrete structure built onto three arches with 120-degree angles, anchored to the ground at three of the corners of the hexagon. Over the years, this construction, which is a fusion of architecture and engineering, has become a landmark for the city of Turin.

The project designers voted the winners of the competition opted for a "building within a building" approach, with its own aesthetic identity that is structurally independent from the existing vaulted surface yet in keeping with its geometry and unity. The area surrounding the building, which is demarcated by a tarred ring road, has been paved with 60 x 60 cm high-tech Ardesia Bordeaux slabs by Ariostea, with a textured surface finish.

High-tech Ardesia Bordeaux in technical ceramic material was chosen over quarry stone as it is available at short notice in large quantities with consistent colour and quality. The original tone of the material highlights both the red-painted facades of the building and the cement vaults of the sail. A slight relief surface texture ensures excellent non-slip properties across all areas of the new paving.

As the designers wanted to retain uniformity between indoor and outdoor areas, high-tech Ardesia Bordeaux was also chosen for the interior flooring, which extends over three levels from 0.00 to +8.00 high and includes, in addition to the stands, all service areas to support the sports activities and facilities for the spectators and the media. The entire project has been carried out in compliance with the strictest standards for safety and accessibility, with painstaking efforts to ensure optimum ice system, lighting and acoustic efficiency. These characteristics make the PalaVela an efficient building both as a sports facility and as a multifunctional resource for use after the Olympics.

Location: Torino - Italy

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