Multi-purpose cultural center, Langhirano (PR)


Client: Comune di Langhirano
Location: Langhirano, Parma
Project: 1990-1995
Construction: 1998

Architectural design: Marco Contini
Director of works: Marco Contini
Collaborators: Nicola Bonazzi, Paolo Contini

Structures: Giovanni Feldmann
Mechanical systems: CD Studio
Electrical systems: Giampaolo Vecchi

Type of intervention: recovery of a building from the early 1900s
Functional characteristics: cultural centre with library, exhibition area, conference room, offices
Area: 2620 sqm

Contractor: Ediljet s.r.l.

Photographs: Stefano Botti

The complex of the former slaughterhouse (1927 – 1930) looks like a strictly enclosed site, in the centre of which is what was originally the plant’s technical department, while on the front of the main road there is the volume of administrative functions. The rules of symmetry determine the overall design of the system, while to characterize the volumes and the surrounding wall there is a complex decorative apparatus made up of exposed brick parts that frame the plastered surfaces. The activities envisaged by the recovery project are those relating to a cultural centre with a library, a sound library, a toy library, the historical archive, the administrative offices.

In the relationship between the new activities and the container, an attempt has been made to maintain a certain discretion and simplicity in the use of materials and in the definition of the interior spaces. If the external parts of the building have undergone a careful restoration to preserve the existing characteristics, the interiors have chosen to bring to light potential characteristics of the building which for reasons related to functional activities had been denied in the construction.

The demolition of the floors, the internal partitions and the reconstruction of the roof allowed the introduction of mezzanine areas, but also the possibility of having the perception of how this building is actually organized with the pavilions distributed by a central gallery. Even the plastered surfaces have been largely demolished bringing the stone brickwork listed in brick to the sight, a typical construction technique of the area that is now shown as historical material. The library is located within its own volume, and is organized on two levels: the shelves for books are located on the ground floor, the reading room at the top. This provision allows to differentiate the consultation space from that of reading in order to obtain greater intimacy and silence for those intent on reading.

The project, in addition to the restoration of the building parts and the design of all the interior furnishings and windows, also covered the courtyard areas, with the creation of an Italian garden and a fence in metal panels that incorporate the room of the technical systems acts as a closure for one side of the area.