La Polveriera is a multipurpose centre housed in two former military hangars, now owned by the municipality of Reggio Emilia. The renovation project, by architects Lorenzo Baldini and Antonio Pisano - owners of the Marcel Mauer firm - restored two historic buildings to the community, and with them the entire Mirabello district of the city.
La Polveriera comprises two Thirties buildings, both of which have listed building status.
While permission was granted to transform the interior of building A into a residential centre for the disabled and office accommodation for social cooperatives, in building B the architects were obliged to retain the original structure in its entirety. It was converted into a multipurpose building, housing a café area, restaurant, offices, co-working spaces and workshops, all arranged in an open-plan area of a thousand square metres, which very clearly conserves the former hangar's original form.
To preserve the building's architectural structure most effectively, the toilets were located in geometrical black blocks which contrast sharply with the rest of the open-plan layout.
The bathrooms are an object lesson in the elimination of architectural barriers and feature a minimalist style with an industrial touch, referencing the building's original character.
The choice of Marazzi Bricco series wall tiles was particularly suitable for a building of this kind, since the collection is inspired by the distinctive look of the exposed brickwork of industrial interiors, brought up to date by the use of neutral colour shades.
In the kitchen, on the other hand, the wall tiles are Marazzi Essenziale series stoneware in a large size: the reduction in the number of joints in the wall covering enhances the premises' impression of cleanliness, as well as giving them a minimalist, contemporary look. What's more, the slimline thickness is ideal for installation in existing, historic interiors.
Ph Mattia Iotti