Francigena house, Berceto (PR)

Auctioneer: Municipality of Berceto
Location: Berceto (PR)
Notice: Urban Regeneration Notice 2021
Executive project in progress

Architectural project: Marco Contini
Contributors: Sara Chiari, Matteo Zaccarelli

Type of intervention: redevelopment of two buildings with demolition and reconstruction of one of the two
Functional features: reception and meeting space including offices, study centre, cafeteria, multipurpose room, garden

land area: 742.70 sqm
usable area: 271.90 sqm

structures: Schrentewein & Partner s.r.l.
systems: Simone Dalmonte – Giampaolo Vecchi
acoustic: Morlini Engineering

There are over three thousand kilometers of the Via Francigena from Canterbury to Rome and towards Santa Maria di Leuca. A red thread that unites the Europe of peoples and cultures, touching 5 states, 16 regions and more than 600 municipalities.

The route of the ancient road crosses the town of Berceto from the archaeological park of Rossi’s Castle to the seminary, an ancient Augustinian convent and Madonna delle Grazie Sanctuary, to connect to the south with Passo della Cisa which connects the Emilia area with Lunigiana.

The project provides for a mix of functional uses of both the first and second building. In the rooms on the ground floor, facing the Via Francigena, the offices and spaces of the study centre are located, containing the collection of publications and documents on the ancient pilgrimage road, where visitors can receive information and use a space that is easily transformable for temporary exhibitions by setting up panels and digital interactive screens. This space is connected to the building to the west via a covered walkway that allows visitors to reach the refreshment area and the garden located at a higher level, where it will also be possible to use a room for small conferences or for the presentation of cultural initiatives.

The building project is particularly careful to combine innovative technological aspects (plants and construction system) with the use of traditional materials in a contemporary key, such as stone masonry used as a cladding for the vertical parts of the building and the flat roof typical of the area and still present in some buildings bordering the area involved in the project. The goal is to build a NZeb (Near Zero Energy Building) certified CasaClimaNature. Furthermore, the system is assisted by the production of renewable electricity by installing a photovoltaic system on the roof.

For the arrangement of the garden, it is planned to place some works by young artists and the annual organization of an exhibition linked to the use of traditional material in art. The spaces will make it possible to extend the calendar of cultural events in the area to the winter period, today largely concentrated in the summer period.
In the project, the open space of the garden, today in little relationship with the pre-existing buildings, will once again be absorbed into the new layout as it had been until the 1950s.