Recovery and renovation today are the keywords that every architect must consider essential for their “craft”.

Future of our cities, especially in this historical period, must take into account the correct use of resources available, stopping the uncontrolled expansion of urban areas and recovery those portions of tissue that are often ignored, but that are full of history, memories and can still be part of the language and life of every day.

From these considerations it is born “Arabesque”, a “research project” developed on one of the last examples of old buildings placed in Nizza, the main street of the city, in a “new” part of Cuneo. Through the recovery of the building, it is possible to connect the “old” with the “new”, and resolve the critical problems of the project.

So, the “city arcades”, that in this single part of Nizza are not present, become “crossing arcades”, and come from the demolition of the ground floor of the historical building. The new residential expansion is identified in the portion of elevation of the building, by a “pure” construction, easily readable, characterized by a Cor-Ten steel skin, whose only ornament is represented by a design borrowed from the Arabic facade of one of the most important buildings in the historical center.

The skin, made of opening panels, also performs the important function of dimming and solar control. Arabesque project is a compromise; it builds new apartments, but does not forget the history, avoiding the demolition of the old building. History, very often, isn’t an obstacle for the new, but a starting point to resolve problems with creativity and with true innovative power.

Location: Cuneo, Italy
Architects: atelier qbe3
Team: Francesco Badoero, Stefano William Costa, Valentina Garis

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