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Project for the construction of accommodations, bar and restaurant recovering the mine buildings complex “Le Miniere” in Traversella (Italy)

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Project for the construction of accommodations, bar and restaurant recovering the mine buildings complex “Le Miniere” in Traversella (Italy)

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.

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Credits by Paola Galfione Barozzo

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Architect and Designer operating since 1990, master’s degree “cum laude” - thesis on “Designing for Textiles” dealing with textiles conservation in museums and exhibitions with a new design approach. Teacher of Museography, Interior Design and Architecture, Industrial Design at Polytechnic of Turin.  Professor of History of Industrial Design at IED (European Design Institute). Consultant in conservative restoration of Historical Shops and Pharmacies in Piedmont. Consultant of the "Council of Architecture, Urban Planning and Environment (C.A.U.A.)" assisting professionals and municipalities in technical-economical feasibility studies and design for  buildings renovation. Coordinator of "Project for Recovery and Valorisation of the Lower Village of Masserano", participatory planning with citizens. Author of the book  "Borgo Inferiore di Masserano. Itinerary to discover past and present" She works for residential and touristic accommodation, interior design, sports complexes, public spaces, restaurants, museums, exhibitions, social-housing, environmental design and gardens, developing a multidisciplinary experience that represents one of its strengths. Most representative projects: "Redevelopment of jhistoric mine buildings complex" in Traversella; Renovation of Borgata Mancin in Cantalupa to create a residential and tourist accommodation; Project of a 60-beds country hotel village and farm in Scansano (Tuscany) according to bio-architecture principles. Qualification as “CasaClima” Junior Expert and Biosafe Technician for qualification of buildings environmental healthiness, authorized to issue Fire Prevention Certificates Passionate about travel and cultures and environmental issues, worked for international cooperation in Brazil and Laos to identify and design eco-sustainable "zero emissions" products that represents local traditions and promote manual skills and local materials (silk, bamboo, paper) Author of several academic and technical publications concerning museography, historical shops, restructuring, interior design Winner of national and international competitions, lately for restructuring the Turin Press Club "Clubhoise Sporting" Since 1996 she experimented "Recycling and Reuse"  fashion design, creating "wearable sculptures" in materials from waste. Her collections were shown in exhibitions abroad.
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