Redevelopment of historical Mine Buildings located in the “Geopark of Traversella” by construction of Accomodations, a Bar and a Restaurant
The project concerns the partial redevelopment of the mine buildings complex “LE MINERE” in “Geopark of Traversella”. Buildings and natural surroundings have a special charm and are very interesting from historical, architectural, naturalistic and social point of view. The rather articulated buildings were once housed for mining processes, offices, depots and staff so the educational potential of this place is relevant, as testimony of ancient processing techniques and daily life in the past.
Thanks to European Structural Funds for degraded industrial sites, it was possible to recover the historical complex focusing toward a mainly touristic use.
The intervention allowed the recovery of two buildings. The first one, once used as chemical laboratory and Director’s house, now become the “Locanda del Minatore” accomodation, with reception on the ground floor and 10 large rooms on the first floor (total 18 beds). The second, a tower buiding where the mining material were crushed, is been turned into a Bar on the ground floor and a 60-seat restaurant on the first floor.
The problem of the industrial building recovery relates to the adaptation of new materials, processes and systems to an architectural organism that should not lose its original character, but without denying it a new life, therefore traditional building technologies and materials were used to guarantee both a high performance and an aesthetic compatibility with the architectural and environmental context, with great respect for history and characteristics of the place.
All superfetations were removed and restored the original subdivision of buildings, preserving the structure while ensuring compliance with actual plant and safety regulations for public premises.
The philosophy followed for the interior design aimed to preserve the fascinating image of the industrial space for walls finishes and ceilings, highlighting the mighty structure in reinforced concrete and exposed wood. Even the old machinery has been preserved, restored, enhanced by becoming the protagonists of the spaces, so inside the bar a tubular silica mill has been preserved and in the restaurant a “ball mill”. Furthermore, from the bar it is possible to admire some magnetic detectors on display inside a mine Museum in the neighboring building
Traditional materials such as wood and treated iron are the leitmotif of interior design. Brushed iron and corten iron were used to create lamps, tables and chairs. Some new production elements and others from recovery was selected after a long search for historical pieces or with an industrial flavor.
Also artificial lighting was conceived thinking about memories of the place. The trolleys once used to transport materials have been transformed into lamps, both suspended from the ceiling and placed on mobile tracks to allow direct or indirect lighting. Silhouettes of incandescent lamps engraved on iron plates become luminous sources suspended from rails along the wall and from old grids for sieving. Hanging helmets, that symbolize the miners, become wall lamps diffusing soft light.
Energy saving, functionality, conservative reuse and memory of the past, revisited in contemporary perspective, were the criteria that inspired the interventions on buildings interiors and exteriors.