Copenhagen and New York-based architecture firm, Bjarke Ingels Group, has been announced today as the winner of the hotly contested competition to build S.Pellegrino’s new home on the site of its original plant in Northern Italy, where the natural mineral water has been bottled since 1899.
The announcement was the culmination of an international-scale tender to secure a truly innovative project that not only conveys an artistic vision, but also sets new standards in terms of efficiency and compliancy to environmental sustainability, all while providing an optimum working environment. Four world-leading architecture firms were shortlisted in the tender, each renowned for their innovative and futuristic projects.
Founded by Bjarke Ingels and Julien De Smedt in 2001, BIG is an award-winning group of international architects, designers, builders, and thinkers operating within the fields of architecture, urbanism, interior, landscape and product design, and research and development.
The renowned firm is famous for its innovative VIA 57 West building in New York, the Serpentine Gallery in London (2016), and the Shanghai Expo Danish Pavilion, as well as the Two World Trade Center building in New York, currently under construction.
BIG partner Bjarke Ingels explains that the project “inherits its narrative structure from the landscape of the Brembana valley. Like an aquatic equivalent of a wine cellar, the repeating archways expand and contract to create the narrative framework for the purity and clarity of the mineral water, in an environment characterised by lightness, openness and transparency.”
Their winning proposal focuses on a series of expanding and contracting internal archways that create a multitude of spaces like majestic vaults, covered tunnels, arcades and green pergolas, whilst at the same time providing stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
The building is designed to embrace and enhance the architecture of the existing factory, while at the same time forming an elegant framework that will allow visitors to sense the power and purity of the surrounding Alpine environment. At the centre of the campus, a giant geological sample will visualise the natural water’s 30-year journey during which it acquires minerals and achieves the pure flavour that is unique to S.Pellegrino.
Watch Bjarke Ingels explain the winning proposal in more detail:
President and CEO of Sanpellegrino, Stefano Agostini, commented that “We think this project is very consistent with our values and heritage. Its focus on purity, nature and transparency is in line with our mission of ensuring the future of water. The proposed arc approach integrates the existing plant into the surrounding valley, allowing one to visually experience the power and purity of nature. BIG’s proposal works with and enhances the territory where S.Pellegrino originates, adding a modern touch of style”.
Curated by Professor Luca Molinari the judging committee was comprised of Marco Settembri, Executive Vice President Nestlé S.A., Head of Nestlé Waters, Magdi Batato, Executive Vice President Nestlé S.A., Head of Operations, Stefano Agostini, President and CEO of Sanpellegrino S.p.A, in addition to international personalities.
Updates on project phases will be available on www.sanpellegrino.com and on S.Pellegrino’s social media channels with the hashtag #SanPellegrinoNewHome.