For Architectural Digest, by Carrie Hojnicki.
Honoring the history of a beloved 118-year-old Italian brand is no small task. But for Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), the Copenhagen-based firm known for game-changing designs throughout Europe and North America, it’s just another challenge.
It was announced today that BIG won the coveted commission to design sparkling water producer San Pellegrino’s new flagship headquarters in the alpine town of San Pellegrino Terme, Italy. The building, part factory, part visitor center, will sit on a site adjacent to the Brembo River, where the company has bottled its effervescent offerings since 1899. BIG’s design respects the local landscape — offering a serpentine plan mirroring the river’s curves — as well as Italian architectural traditions, with elements such as arcades, a piazza, and porticoes highlighted throughout.
Where the new facility does break the mold is in its synthesis of hitherto disparate operations: Sourcing, preparation, and bottling will occur, for the first time ever, under the same roof. BIG’s design seamlessly integrates the different functions, simultaneously celebrating the raw industrial nature of the factory and the brand’s luxe image.
The flagship, which sits in the heart of the Bergamo province, is expected to bring tourism, social, and employment benefits to the region. Construction on the complex is slated to begin in 2018.
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