Penombra House is a project for the open competition to create an outside multifunctional pavilion for a new green area in the city of Bergamo, Italy. The task seems to be very clear: how to create an architectonical language strong enough to receive so many different uses and at the same time to create a new centrality for this no-referential ‘Parco della Trucca’? This proposal intends to create a simple big roof: a covered area as an idea of common space which relates to the very typical buildings of this region, the old farm houses ‘Cascina’.
In the old times this new park of Bergamo was an enormous area of agriculture where the cascinas were the only structures standing there. Some of them are still possible to find in this northern region of Italy. But while those Cascinas had a clear function and a single inside space, now the aim was to create a new building that could recuperate that symbolic meaning and memory based on the pitched roof form but still able to receive different uses and events connected with sports, relax and restaurant activities.
Our proposal is based on a re-interpretation of that old Cascina’s typology where the structure defines the inside space but instead of a monotonous repetition of a single structural element we propose to create an idea of different structural porticos based on the same diagram of forces that allows us to generate a slight variation of the inside spaces depending on the required uses.
Like this, the symbolic meaning of the form is still very present and it is just a consequence of the inside structure. And at the same time the structural porticos are flexible enough as to generate different variations through the same logic. So, the architectural language resumes itself to the use of basic elements such as pillars, beams and roof, under a modular system that creates an idea of ‘simple complexity’.
The building is oriented to the north-south cardinal points so each facade looks at each Cardinal point and therefore the formal symmetry of the set is broken by a light asymmetry. The pavilion is made out of a wooden structure that rises from a podium of 25.2 x 31.2 meters according to the single base module of 2.4 x 2.4. So, all the porticos are also based on it and they have the height of 9.6 meters. Each portico generates one bigger space (that connects two modules) and one smaller space. While the small is closed, the big is open and receives a public use. Nevertheless, they always relate one to the others and if needed it can generate bigger spaces when they are connected.