Category: Shopping centres
ITALMARK SHOPPING CENTER

CASTEL GOFFREDO (MN) - ITALY

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40x40 Castel Honed
40x40 Sodalite Blue Polished
40x40 Dolomiti Matt and Polished
30x30 Grey Ground

Year: 2008
Studio: Studio Rodighiero Associati

Photos by: Annalisa Pividori

The architectural and urban features of the new Italmark shopping centre in Castel Goffredo qualify it as a true meeting-place strategically located between the town’s historic centre, school campuses, aquatic centre and new residential districts. The architectural project includes 20,000 square metres of retail space, 3,400 square metres of malls and 615 parking spots including 290 indoor spots. Its design is an interesting challenge, above all because of the need to reduce environmental impact on the surrounding urban fabric by integrating it into the historical, economic and social context of this town near Mantua.

The project by studio Rodighiero associati of Castiglione delle Stiviere is given strong character by its dome and glassed-in mall covering public pedestrian routes. The dome covers a true indoor piazza, which picks up on the ancient concept of the agora, a place for meeting and exchange, including commercial trade. The mall ‘cuts’ the volume diagonally, making the building highly dynamic, on the basis of a deep formal simplification.
The mall is intended for public use, providing a link between the schools and the aquatic centre.
The parking lots, arranged on three levels with ramps, also participate in this strategy of integration with the urban context, offering different access routes to make the various parts of this multi-purpose building on four levels independent and autonomous.
The architects have taken particular care to decrease the building’s environmental impact in terms of energy conservation, with technological measures such as use of low temperature plumbing systems, insulated and ventilated curtain walls and control of the exposure of glass surfaces to sunlight.

The outer façade

The volume of the building consists of a simple rectangle covered with prefabricated panels (made by Styl Comp). This decision aesthetically required ‘camouflaging’ of the joints among different elements on the façade. The solution was to exasperate the square mesh design made up of grooves of the same depth as the joint. In the middle of each panel is a deep blue square ceramic tile made by GranitiFiandre.
The resulting effect is that of a decorated façade which permits unitary perception of architectural volumes and yet reveals its non-structural nature.

Internal wall coverings and the colour vocabulary

The design of the wall coverings inside the building is characterised by use of the colours blue and red. Blue identifies the horizontal public routes and is the colour that semantically amplifies the glass dome, through which the sky is visible.
Red, the colour identified with the Italmark brand, makes the shopping centre recognisable as belonging to this chain and identifies all the vertical links in the building.

The perfection of the round cut of the ceramic tiles in the floor is achieved thanks to laser water jet technology. Special care in the cutting and laying of the material has made it possible to obtain circular inserts in the floor recalling the round glass dome and the concept of the piazza. A detail of particular aesthetic and technical importance is the gap between the tiles, which looks like a continuation of the same material.
The false ceilings also contain a symbolic reference to the circle, with round blue LEDs.

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