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  COME VEDERE L'ARCHITETTURA CONTEMPORANEA HOW TO SEE CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE
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BUILDING
 
 
Sensing the Waves
Extension of Museum Luigi Pecci
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DESIGNER
 
 
NIO architecten
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DESCRIPTION
 
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Sensing the Waves, NIO architecten, Maurice Nio, Joan Almekinders, Museo Pecci, Prato, TuscanyIn 1988 the first centre dedicated entirely to contemporary art in Italy was born in Prato. The dream of entrepreneur Enrico Pecci and a donation to the city of Prato in honour of his son Luigi, the centre was established with the support of several founding members including the city of Prato, the Industrial Union, the Cassa di Risparmio of Prato and a large number of private citizens, a rare Italian example of a collaboration between public institutions and private patrons. The mission was to promote awareness of emerging art - both national
and international - through programmes of temporary exhibitions, educational activities, documentation and information, and entertainment and multimedia events. The Pecci Centre houses a unique collection in Italy with over a thousand works by major international artists including Anish Kapoor, Jan Fabre, Jannis Kounellis and Sol LeWitt, as well as those of great Italian artists of the last century such as Mario Merz and Michelangelo Pistoletto. Unfortunately, the collection was sacrificed to storage space for a long time due to lack of room.

Sensing the Waves, NIO architecten, Maurice Nio, Joan Almekinders, Museo Pecci, Prato, TuscanyTo ensure the sufficient appreciation of this heritage, at the beginning of the twenty-first century the Pecci Centre decided to double the exhibition space and, at the same time, to restructure the original building of Italo Gamberini which, by then, was presenting some critical and outdated issues. The extension (backed by the Municipality of Prato and the region of Tuscany through European Funds) began in 2006 and focused on building a new wing with a strong architectural impact which was linked to the original structure, the features and services of which were modernised and enhanced in the meantime. The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Italy has supported the creation of the new building.

Upon completion, the structure will cover an area of nearly 10,000 square metres and, in addition to the exhibition space, will house an archive and specialised library which will contain over 50,000 volumes, an open air theatre with 1,000 seats, a 140-seat movie cinema/auditorium, a performance space which will hold 400, a bookshop, a bar/bistro and restaurant, as well as workshops and various meeting rooms.

And so today, after almost 30 years of activity, the Pecci Centre doubles in size. This is happening in two ways: the expansion of its headquarters but also of its cultural programme. Two profound initiatives linked through their common goal: to equip the Luigi Pecci for Contemporary Art with a new cultural energy that has the ability to express itself either through exhibition content or through physical spaces. A certain energy is required to understand
and involve the area through new architecture; built and designed to add new purpose to the existing structure, to double the surface and to establish new connections between the museum and the city, between art and the region.

The extension was designed by Maurice Nio - Dutch architect and founder of Rotterdam based firm NIO architecten - who is one the most original interpreters of the architectural culture of our time. Commissioned by the Pecci family in 2006, the project is driven by the desire to facilitate the new cultural programme of the museum. The collection of works - which is constantly undergoing change and development and which has, in recent years, also sought to endorse Italian and regional artistic production - urgently called for a new environment to permanently house the rich heritage of the collection.

Nio’s project aims to in unify the centre and its surrounding area. The existing building has been completely preserved and left intact in every aspect. It is surrounded by, in the form of a ring, a new volume which - taking into account the design of the original surrounding parkland - orients itself towards the public realm. With the new entrance at the bookshop and the restaurant, located within a transparent body on the ground floor, the centre faces outwards, urges curiosity, invites interaction and is open to the city through an unconventional garden and large square. The highest point of the exhibition complex is reached by a feature similar to an antenna which, on the one hand, manages to portray the attempt to capture new forms of creativity present in the area and on the other displays the important presence of a place entrusted with its own promotion, clearly visible to those coming from the motorway and to those arriving on foot from the city.

From the initial formulation of the project, Maurice Nio had chosen a strongly evocative title for the building: Sensing the Waves. This is suggestive of its receptive function (almost like a transmitter), capable of picking up and broadcasting the vibrations of present times.
Below the antenna, the new layout binds the original Italo Gamberini building to that if Maurice Nio. The Dutch project is based on a systematic rethinking of expositive features which are manifested externally through the creation of an ambiguous, unexpected, unusual object which is open to multiple interpretations. It has a subtle and rational style which seems to go beyond the usual creation (in an international sphere) of art centres as large urban icons. Ensuring the attention of the international scene and consolidating its ties with the area, the Pecci Centre will take on many important objectives over the coming decades.
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Sensing the Waves, NIO architecten, Maurice Nio, Joan Almekinders, Museo Pecci, Prato, Tuscany
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VIDEO
 
 

3 things about the new Centro Pecci | Maurice Nio from CCT-SeeCity on Vimeo.

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MATERIALS
 
copper, glass
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LOCATION
 
Continent
Europe
Nation
Italy [Italia]
Region
Tuscany [Toscana]
Province
Prato
Town
Prato
Address
Viale della Repubblica, 277
 
 
Telephone
+39.0574.5317
Website
E-mail
info@centropecci.it
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MAP
 
 
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TYPOLOGY
 
Main
ARCHITECTURE
Buildings for cultural activities
Art galleries and exhibition areas
Museums and buildings for exhibitions
Art museums
Operations on existing buildings
Extension, superelevation
Additional
ARCHITECTURE
Buildings for cultural activities
Libraries and media libraries
Commercial buildings
Shops
Bars, cafeterias
Buildings for recreational activities
Theatres
Cinemas
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CHRONOLOGY
 
Project
2006    
Realisation
2010 - 2016
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BIBILIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES
 
 
Daria Ricchi, "Sensing the waves", A10 new European architecture 18, november-december 2007, "On the spot" p. 6
Elena Tomei, "Sensore dei flussi / In Prato", L'Arca 229, ottobre/octobre 2007, "L'Arca2" p. 92
Paolo Rinaldi, "Il Centro Pecci raddoppia / The Pecci Center doubles-up", OF Arch 98, ottobre/october 2007, "Work in progress" pp. 38-39
"Maurice Nio amplia il Pecci a Prato", Il giornale dell'architettura 52, giugno 2007, "Musei" p. 23
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CLIENT
 
 
Elena Pecci
Comune di Prato
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AMOUNT
 
 
€ 14,400,000
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DIMENSIONAL
DATA
 
Surface
total sq.m. 7,815

first floor sq.m. 1,820
ground floor sq.m. 825
basement sq.m. 5,170
Capacity
amphitheater 1,000 seats
auditorium 140 seats
performance space 400 seats
Consistence
Library 50,000 volumes
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STRUCTURES
 
 
Ingenieursbureau Zonneveld
Iacopo Ceramelli, Alberto Antonelli, Daniele Storai
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STAFF
 
Design team
Joan Almekinders, Emanuela Guerrucci, Maurice Nio, Giuseppe Vultaggio
Art direction
Maurice Nio
NIO architecten
Architect of record
Luca Rimatori
Landscape design
Luca Piantini, Michele Faranda
Mechanical engineer
Dante Di Carlo
Electrical engineer
Maurizio Mazzanti
CMA
Geotechnical
Deborah Bresci (2007 / 2011)
Damiano Franzoni (2012 / 2016)
Lighting engineer
Bernardo D’Ippolito
Kino Workshop
Acoustical consultant
Pietro Danesi
Renovation plan
Antonio Silvestri ["Gamberini" building]
Construction supervision
Paolo Bartalini (2007 / 2012)
Antonella Cacciato (2012)
Massimo Lastrucci (2013 / 2016)
Structural consultant
Andrea Vignoli, Claudio Consorti (operative directors)
Fire safety
Dante Di Carlo
Safety coordination
Paola Falaschi
Final inspection
Massimo Perri
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ANNOTATIONS
 
 


Dossiers on Centro Pecci | Prato
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CREDITS
 
 
Photos © Lineashow, Ivan D’Alì, Mario Gianni
Text edited by Centro Pecci Prato
Courtesy of Centro Pecci Prato

Sensing the Waves, NIO architecten, Maurice Nio, Joan Almekinders, Museo Pecci, Prato, Tuscany



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