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BIG to design San Pellegrino bottling plant and visitor 'Experience Lab' after competition triumph

We propose to wash away the traditional segregation between front and back of house, and to create a seamless continuity between the environment of production and consumption
– Bjarke Ingels

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) will design a new factory and visitor experience for mineral water company San Pellegrino, after finishing top of an international competition for the project.

The studio revealed their sinuous design for the 17,500sq m (188,000sq ft) complex, which will “guide visitors through the 30-year journey of the natural mineral water,” is inspired by “the serpentine run of the Brembo river and the sloping Alpine mountainsides.”

San Pellegrino has bottled water at its plant in Bergamo, Italy, since 1899. It believes that opening an expanded €90m (US$95.1m, 76.4m) factory and a museum ‘Experience Lab’ can bring new economic, tourism, social and employment benefits to local communities across the surrounding Lombardy Region.

"Out of all the projects presented, BIG’s proposal was the most representative of our brand values and our company’s commitments," said Stefano Agostini, president and CEO of the San Pellegrino Group. "It will restore our role as Made in Italy ambassadors; tell an extraordinary and non-outsourceable story of mineral water; and generate real value and benefits for the community in which we operate."

BIG’s design is evolved around the concept of the architectural archway. Expanding and contracting arches will appear throughout the campus, creating a multitude of spaces and experiences. Visitors and employees “will walk through majestic vaults, covered tunnels, arcades and green pergolas that frame the history and heritage of the brand.” The seriality of the openings will reveal occasional views of the surrounding mountains and river.

BIG founder Bjarke Ingels explained that the vision is to create an authentic extension of the rational and functional architecture of the existing factory while paying homage to the classic elements of Italian architecture and urbanism.

"Rather than imposing a new identity on the existing complex, we propose to grow it out of the complex,” he said. “Like the mineral water itself – the new San Pellegrino Factory and Experience Lab will seem to spring from its natural source.

"We propose to wash away the traditional segregation between front and back of house, and to create a seamless continuity between the environment of production and consumption, and preparation and enjoyment."

BIG will partner with local architects Studio Verticale, landscape studio West 8 and engineers Arup, among other practices, for the next four years, with groundbreaking of the construction to take place in 2018.

Bjarke Ingels  BIG  San Pellegrino  Lombardy  Italy  architecture  design 
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FEATURE: Movers & Shakers – Bjarke Ingels

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) will design a new factory and visitor experience for mineral water company San Pellegrino, after finishing top of an international competition for the project. The studio revealed their sinuous design for the 17,500sq m (188,000sq ft) complex, which will “guide visitors through the 30-year journey of the natural mineral water,” is inspired by “the serpentine run of the Brembo river and the sloping Alpine mountainsides.” San
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The factory and museum is expected to bring new economic, tourism, social and employment benefits to local communities / BIG
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