Former Military Area Regeneration – Ex Polveriera

Reggio Emilia, Italy, at the beginning of WWII.

Reggio Emilia, Italy, at the beginning of WWII.

Just outside the historical exagonal perimeter of the old city of Reggio Emilia, in Northern Italy, a former military area is being converted into a mix use civic centre.

Historical cavalry exercises.

Historical cavalry exercises.

The area was originally chosen as the practice field for the cavalry since the end of the eithteenth century. In more recent times the buildings have been used by the Council as storage.

In collaboration with CAIRE Urbanistica, we designed and currently building the conversion of two of the five warehouses forming the ‘Ex-Polveriera’ (Powder Keg).

The buildings are parfectly identycal and symmetrical, 80 m. long and 15 m. deep with a maximum height under the roof ridge beam of 10.2 m. The massing results from the repetition of 13 equal modules composed by a front door, a rear window and two flanking walls with a primary arch (8 m. high) and two secondary arches (4 m. high). Each module was designed to house one tank and offered enough room to operate its maintenance.

Conservation of historical facade.

Conservation of historical facade.

The new design will convert the military shell into a mix use civic centre with a learning and residential centre for disabled people, offices for cooperatives and NGOs, an auditorium, a covered market, a doctor surgery and an organic restaurant.

Covered market interiors.

Covered market interiors.

The buildings are Grade II listed our conservation project focused on preserving the character of monumental yet poor architecture.

On site 2, future portico.

On site 2, future portico.

Works on site have started at the beginning of 2014 and are expected to last until the end of 2014.

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